Sakusa Kiyoomi, Oct. 15
Happy birthday, Atsumu.
Miya Atsumu, Oct. 15
THANK YOU OMI-KUN!!!! I hope you’re doing good!
Miya Atsumu, Nov. 3
I watched your new movie, it was really fucking good. Congratulations
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Nov. 3
Thank you, Atsumu. I’m looking forward to your future work as well.
Miya Atsumu, Dec. 24
Advanced Merry Christmas, Omi-kun!!! I hope you’re having a good time (⌒▽⌒)☆
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Dec. 25
Merry Christmas, Atsumu. I wish you and your family well.
Miya Atsumu, Jan. 1
HAPPY NEW YEAAAAAAARRRRR
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Jan. 1
Happy new year.
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Jan. 20
Congratulations on the film. You’re probably gonna get nominated so I’ll congratulate you for that now, too.
Miya Atsumu, Jan. 20
Always so kind to me, Omi-Omi. Thank you.
Miya Atsumu, Feb.8
Hey, Omi-kun how’ve you been?
An entire year passes like this. When they see each other again, it’s only because they’re both nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor. Atsumu for his new action movie and Sakusa for his period drama. Neither of them win because Bokuto Koutarou does.
At the afterparty, they meet eyes as Sakusa takes a sip of champagne and Atsumu is in the middle of a conversation with Nakagawa Taishi. And in that moment, they know almost immediately that that’s all they can bear to do. In that moment, they know if they walk any closer or do anything more, they’re going to fall right back to where they first started.
Fall right back into Okinawa.
So instead, Atsumu smiles, Sakusa nods, and they look away.
Not yet, is what they’re saying wordlessly, I don’t think I can be so close to you without wanting to get any closer, just yet.
“Atsumu!” Suna yells from the living room, “Are you fucking coming or not?!”
“Don’t ya fuckin’ rush me!” Atsumu sasses from his bedroom, “Beauty takes time, Sunarin!”
“Some cases are hopeless.” Suna bites back, “And besides, what are you so panicked for? It’s just another screentest.”
“I don’t think ya understand.” Atsumu says, finally emerging from his bedroom, dressed particularly fancy. “I need to get this in the bag. We’re talkin’ Haiba Alisa here, Rin. If I get to work with her, it’s over for everyone.”
Suna raises an eyebrow. “What, you got a crush on her or something?”
“Are ya kiddin’ me? Everyone has a crush on her, she looks like a fuckin’ woodland fairy.” Atsumu says, like it’s obvious, “But it’s not about that. Ya know what they call her? The Lucky Charm.”
“Christ’s sake.” Suna rolls his eyes.
“No, I’m serious here.” Atsumu presses, “She barely takes any projects, but every single one she’s been in has won awards. Loads of ‘em. That movie she did with Kita-san? Remember that? Won five.”
“So you’re saying, they’re both Gods.” Suna deadpans.
Atsumu reaches for his phone, goes on Google, and shows him an IMDb picture.
There’s a long pause.
“Okay, so they’re both Gods.” Suna says, nodding. “We’re getting you this role.”
“Duh.” Atsumu says, getting into his coat. “So, who’re they considerin’ for the second lead?”
“Uh,” Suna says, suddenly showing his back to him, and pretending to arrange his things, “Well, there’s a few of them. There’s, uh… Kuroo Tetsurou.”
“Ooh, I like him.” Atsumu comments, “I worked with him once when I was, like, seventeen, and he put a blanket over me when I fell asleep on set. He’s cute.”
“There’s also Akaashi Keiji.” Suna adds.
“Oh, Bokkun’s boyfriend!” Atsumu exclaims as he slips on his shoes, “I’ve always wanted to work with him!”
“And, uh…” Suna scratches the back of his head, lowering his voice as he says, “... Sk..s.. Ky...mi.”
Suna heads straight for the door, without a single glance back. “I said, Sakusa Kiyoomi. Let’s go.”
“What?” He spews out, following behind Suna, “Ya couldn’t have opened with that?!”
“Oh, come on, Atsumu, it’s been four years since Okinawa.” Suna tries to reason, leading them to the car, “And you’ve been doing really fucking well too! You’re not… still weird about him, are you? ‘Cause Kiyoko always says that Sakusa’s doing pretty okay.”
Atsumu blinks and then realizes, well, no. He wasn’t still weird about him. A lot has happened since that day in the bathroom stall. They’ve both moved forward, continued working, filmed more movies, slept with other people, grown a lot more, and they’ve by all means, changed.
Who you are at twenty-two and who you are at twenty-six are two entirely different people, after all.
But he’d be lying if he said that he doesn’t see him onscreen sometimes and think back to those months they spent together. He’d be lying if he said that there aren’t certain nights, just some, that he lays in bed, touches himself, and his mind unconsciously drifts back to those hands, those noises, and those hazy eyes.
He wasn’t still holding onto anything, no. But he figures that this was just something that was never going to go away. This was just something that couldn’t be expunged, even when bound by the most unprofessional contract the world has ever known.
Sakusa Kiyoomi was just one of those people you can never stop wanting.
“Whatever,” Atsumu sighs, groaning as he gets into the passenger’s seat, “It’s not like we’re sure he’s gettin’ the role, anyway.”
Suna starts the car.
“And can I just say how fuckin’ weird it is that you’ve kept in touch with his manager?”
“We have double dates.” He defends. “Yachi-chan cooks really good paella, okay? Leave me alone.”
“Haiba Alisa, Kiyoomi-kun!” Kiyoko exclaims, “Do you know how big of a deal this is?”
“Of course, I know.” He says, hastily fixing his hair so that his curls fall in a precise manner over his forehead. “That recent movie she did with Kita Shinsuke got five nominations and then proceeded to win every single one of them.”
“That was the musical, right?”
Sakusa nods. “I watched the interview where she talked about that scene where she was singing while crying. The whole thing was completely live and she only had to do three takes. I feel like maybe if I get to work with her, I’ll get to absorb some of her talent. Hair?”
“Luscious, as always.”
“Outfit?” Sakusa says, twirling around slowly.
“Louis Vuitton.” She nods. “Are you good now?”
“Yeah.” He nods decidedly, exhaling loudly. “Do you know who they have their eye on to play Touma? ‘Cause I’ve been thinking that Oikawa Tooru would be a good fit. Plus, I’ve never gotten to work with him before, so it’d be a good experience.”
“Ah,” Kiyoko winces, “About that…”
Sakusa narrows his eyes.
“What’s with that face? What is it? It isn’t Bokuto, is it? ‘Cause God knows I won’t survive filming another movie with him.” He asks, uncapping his hydroflask to take a sip of water.
“Uh, no. Well,” Kiyoko takes a deep breath, “They have a few people in mind, but they’re sort of already betting on… Atsumu.”
He chokes. “What the fu—”
Kiyoko hands him a tissue.
He grabs it from her, indignantly. “And you’re only telling me this now?”
“I just didn’t think it’d matter anymore.” She defends, “You two haven’t properly spoken in years and I’ve heard from Suna-kun that Atsumu’s been doing well! And even you have to admit that you two worked together perfectly on screen.”
“I mean, we are fine,” Sakusa says, still trying to recover from accidentally snorting water out of his nose, “But…”
But what, he thinks. What was he supposed to say? They are fine, but that doesn’t mean Sakusa doesn’t still dream about him, once in a while? They are fine, but that doesn’t mean that the images of those months have left his super secret vault of jerk-off fantasies? They are fine, but that doesn’t mean that once in a blue moon, when he’s drunk mostly, he doesn’t get the urge to call him and ask if it’s too late to take back their decision?
“Fuck,” Sakusa grumbles to himself, “I don’t wanna sign another contract that has to do with him.”
“Nothing.” Sakusa sighs, “Let’s just go. It’ll be fine. It’s not like we’re a hundred percent sure we’re gonna work together, anyway.”
“So, can we all give a hand for the three talented stars who are officially leading our movie, Sky Blue, to great heights! Haiba Alisa, Miya Atsumu, and Sakusa Kiyoomi!”
Dear God, Sakusa starts to pray. Why me?
The three of them bow to all the cast and crew they’re going to have to work with for the next few months.
“It’s so nice to meet the two of you!” Alisa says cheerily, looking up at the two men standing on either side of her. “I watched Make It Count, like, five times. You guys are so good.”
“Why, thank you.” Atsumu winks, brazen as ever, “I can’t say I haven’t been lookin’ forward to meetin’ ya too. I’ve only ever heard good things.”
Sakusa fights the urge to roll his eyes and instead, bows his head slightly, giving her a polite smile.
“I’m looking forward to working with you as well, Alisa-san.”
“I’m so glad it’s the two of you I’m working with! I actually personally told the director that I’d prefer it be you two,” She explains, “Since, you know, Touma and Hiro are supposed to be best friends, so I thought it’d be the easiest for you two since you’re already so close, you know? So, you’re welcome!” She winks.
“I…” Atsumu visibly falters at this, a flicker of pure rage appearing somewhere in his eyes, before naturally going back to his cocky self. “Yes… thank you, for that.”
“Anytime!” She giggles.
Sakusa is so jealous of people who have no clue what the fuck is going on. They look so happy.
“Well,” She says, motioning back to the rest of the crew, “I’ve gotta go talk to everyone else, so I’ll leave you boys alone now.”
Sakusa simply bows, because he’s scared that if he opens his mouth, all that’ll come out is an anguished scream.
After a few seconds of tense silence, Sakusa decides that this movie wasn’t going to work out if they were awkward and it’s not like they have any bad blood so this should be fine, right?
He turns. When he does, Atsumu is already looking at him.
He’s pretty as ever.
“Long time no see, Omi-Omi.” He smiles gently. It’s the same smile as back then, but somehow even brighter. Like he’s doing better.
“Yeah.” Sakusa says, looking away because it’s all he can do to not instinctually lean into him, “How’ve you been?”
“Good.” He says, easily. “Really. How ‘bout you?”
“Good.” He returns with a nod, smiling because it’s true. “ Really. ”
Atsumu looks down at his feet, kicking at nothing, before taking a deep breath, “Say, Omi?”
“What do ya think about doin’ what we said we’d do,” He says carefully, “... and tryin’ to be friends?”
What does he think?
Sakusa tries to picture what it’d be like to be with Atsumu without all the sex, leaving him with just the talking, the laughter, the stupid jokes, the comfortable silences, and those innocent, warm touches.
What does he think? He thinks he’s only ever really known Atsumu as a fuck buddy and a co-star. So, he’s terrified to ever have to know Miya Atsumu as a friend.
Because then, what would be stopping him from falling in love?
“I think…” He swallows through the dryness in his mouth, “... that maybe it’s about time we did.”
When Atsumu flashes him that genuinely happy grin, so bright that it’s blinding, Sakusa already knows he’s done for.
“You’re paying this time.” Sakusa says the second the camera stops rolling.
“What? I paid yesterday!” Atsumu complains.
Sakusa shoots him a dirty look. “Well, that barely counts ‘cause that was just coffee. I bought us wagyu two days ago! And Alisa went with us so I paid for three! ”
“That wasn’t our deal.” Atsumu huffs stubbornly, “Our deal was that we’d take turns everyday and I paid yesterday, so today it’s yer turn.”
“Fine.” Sakusa says, shrugging as he turns around to lead the way, “But I get to choose what you’re eating. I hope you don’t mind eating nothing but soup for dinner.”
“Wha—” Atsumu sputters offendedly, “Ya wouldn’t do that! We had such a long shoot today, don’t be cruel! Omiiiiii~”
Alisa leans down to whisper into the ear of her on screen best friend, Akane Yamamoto. “They’re cute, aren’t they?”
Akane nods, following the two men with her eyes. “I thought it was just to promote that movie they did. I didn’t think they were actually close.”
“I know a real bond when I see one.” Alisa brags, “Yesterday, I even saw Atsumu-kun sitting on Kiyoomi-kun’s lap and everything during the break.”
Akane tilts her head as the two figures walk further and further away, but she still sees the way Atsumu throws an arm around the man beside him, pulling him closer, as Sakusa smiles softly at him.
He only ever really smiled like that around Miya Atsumu.
Could they be…
“I always love a good bromance.” Alisa sighs dreamily, “Their friendship is so cute.”
Akane looks up at the girl beside her, furrowing her eyebrows. “Do you not have a gaydar at all?”
“What?” She asks, confused.
“Nothing.” Akane says, turning around, leaving the poor girl lost.
Kiyoko turns to Suna and Suna turns to Kiyoko. They speak at the exact same time.
“What are we betting?” Kiyoko asks, crossing her arms.
“Picking the next location for our next double couple vacation.” Suna decides.
Kiyoko makes a smug face. “You’re on.”
Atsumu has his head resting on the arm of the couch, iPad sitting on his chest, Sakusa Kiyoomi’s head on his stomach, the rest of the man’s body caged between his slightly spread legs.
“Hey, Omi?” He calls out, “Does someone die in this anime?”
“I’m not going to spoil you.” Sakusa says boredly, without looking up from his script. “Just watch it and stop asking me questions.”
Atsumu absent-mindedly reaches down and starts running his fingers through Sakusa’s curls. He lets out a low hum of contentment.
“No, but okay,” Atsumu tries to compromise, “At least tell me if Zenitsu dies.”
“No.” Sakusa says. “Will you just keep watching?”
A beat of silence.
“Atsumuuuu.” He whines.
“What now?” Atsumu groans, “Ya told me to keep watchin’.”
“Hand.” He mumbles, reaching up to look for Atsumu’s hand, “Hair.”
Atsumu’s lips curl into a fond smile. “Yer cute, Omi-kun.”
“Hey, lovebirds,” Alisa calls from the door, “Break’s over in a few minutes, so get ready.”
“Got it, Alisa-chan!” Atsumu says, holding up an OK sign and winking at her.
Alisa sends them both a pout at the sight of their intimate position.
“You two are always being so damn cuddly without me. What’s that about? I’m supposed to be the love interest here!” She whines.
“Sorry, Alisa-san,” Sakusa says, amused, “We’ll treat you to dinner again later to make it up to you?”
“You better.” Alisa says, pointing at them, “Drinks are on you too!” She adds, before disappearing.
Sakusa looks up at Atsumu, cautiously. “Are you… okay with drinks?”
Atsumu barely even reacts. “I’m not gonna drink, but I don’t mind if you guys do. Don’t worry about that, Omi-Omi.”
He looks like he’s being honest, but a part of Sakusa still worries. He pushes the concern aside and decides to ask Suna about it later.
“You know, I have a feeling she likes you.” He says, as casually as he can.
“What, Alisa-chan?” Atsumu clarifies, raising his eyebrows. “It isn’t me she likes. I’m pretty sure she’s been crushin’ on ya.”
“No, it’s you.” Sakusa says, shaking his head. “I can tell.”
“Why does it even matter?” Atsumu teases, pinching his cheek. “Are ya feelin’ jealous, Omi-kun?”
“Bite me.” Sakusa says monotonously, swatting his hand away and sitting up, “Come on, let’s go. I’ve gotta go act like I can stand you for a few hours again.”
“Ah,” Atsumu sighs, closing his eyes, “Always makin’ me feel just how loved I am, Omi-kun.”
As they walk out the door to get back to work, their two managers stare after them with disdain.
“Really? That was disgusting.” Suna says out loud, before turning to Kiyoko, “It’s like we aren’t even here.”
“One moooonth, ” She singsongs, crossing her legs and flipping the page of her magazine, “Mountain climbing vacation~”
“You wench,” Suna grunts, sinking into the couch in despair, “Fucking mountain climbing? For fuck’s sake.”
Atsumu and Sakusa had officially chosen a new go-to hole in the wall restaurant. When they’d first walked in, the owner’s entire demeanor brightened up, and he’d went, “Kiyoomi-kun! Long time no see!” and instantly, Atsumu knew he could trust the place.
They’d stayed for almost four hours that night.
‘How’ve you been, Omi-kun?’ ‘Good. Moved to a new place, a bigger one. Closer to Komori, too. You?’ ‘I moved, too. That old apartment was too… well, it didn’t hold too many good memories. Kita-san’s only, like, two minutes away now.’ ‘Poor him.’
‘Hey, Omi-kun?’ ‘Yeah?’ ‘Did ya miss me?’ ‘I dreaded seeing you again, actually.’ ‘So, ya missed me.’ ‘Maybe a little bit.’
Atsumu wants to say it’s like nothing had changed and they went right back to being the way they were four years ago. But they didn’t. Everything had changed. And in a lot of ways, they were better.
This is the second time this week they’d come here. The last time, it was with Alisa and she’d gotten so drunk that by the end of the night, her skin was completely flushed red and she was pressing her entire being against Sakusa’s side.
Atsumu didn’t particularly enjoy that part, but he laughed anyway, if only for the uncomfortable look on the man’s face.
“So, do ya believe me now that it’s you she likes?” Atsumu asks, sending him a teasing grin through his glass of water.
“Shut up.” Sakusa grunts, shoving more meat into his mouth. “She was just being… friendly.”
“Bein’ friendly?” Atsumu repeats, “Omi, she got drunk and practically threw herself at ya.”
“She was dizzy.” He shrugs. “She needed someone to lean on for balance, that’s all.”
“She said, in verbatim, ‘You’re so pretty up close, Kiyoomi-kun’.”
“Am I not?”
“You are, but that’s—“ Atsumu drifts off, realizing what he’d just said which earns a smirk from Sakusa, “Oh, fuck you. Whatever. I can’t believe ya managed to charm Haiba Alisa. Does she even know yer gay?”
Sakusa raises his eyebrows, regarding Atsumu carefully. “I’m not, though?”
Atsumu short circuits, as his extremely vivid war flashbacks to all the positions he’s seen Sakusa in hit him like whiplash.
Sakusa snorts at the man’s confused expression before clarifying, “I mean, I’m not gay. I’m bi.”
“Oh, wow.” Atsumu says, genuinely surprised and knocking himself in the head for never having asked. “Same. I’m sorry for assumin’.”
Sakusa shakes his head nonchalantly.
“It’s fine. I’ve always kinda leaned a lot more towards men, romantically speaking. Last time I ever had feelings for a woman, I was probably in high school.”
“Who was she? A classmate?”
“My English teacher.”
“What the fuck is it with the LGBT and their English teachers?” Atsumu asks, “I’ve always wondered that.”
“I used to overshare in my essays.” Sakusa snorts. “Bless her wherever she is now. I hope she never tells the journalists about my struggle with internalized biphobia.”
“Damn, now I kinda wish I got the regular high school experience. Being home-schooled wasn’t as fun. My tutor always smelled like tangerines though, so that was nice.”
“You’re bi too, aren’t you?” Sakusa asks.
Atsumu merely hums.
“How’d you figure it out? Since you didn’t get the regular high school experience, was it like, you worked with Nishikido Ryo and Erika Sawajiri and didn’t know who you wanted more?”
“I…” Atsumu blinks rapidly, “How did ya know that?”
“You…” Sakusa pauses, bewildered, “You know what, never mind. Forget I asked. I forgot how ridiculous you are.”
Atsumu laughs, turning back to his plate of food. He doesn’t realize he’s smiling to himself until he looks up and sees Sakusa regarding him with a slightly horrified look on his face.
“Why are you smiling like that?” He asks suspiciously, “You’re scaring me.”
Atsumu ignores him.
“Y’know what, Omi?” He says, “I like this. This is nice.”
“What, the place?” Sakusa asks, looking around them. “Yeah, I’ve been a regular here ever since Komori brought me here.”
“I mean, being friends.” Atsumu clarifies, smiling gently, “We shoulda done it from the beginning, y’know?”
Sakusa would be lying if he said he hadn’t been thinking the same thing for a while now. But at the same time…
“So, does that mean you think we shouldn’t have done all that other stuff?”
Instantly, “I didn’t say that.”
“So, you wish we’d been good friends who had a lot of sex then?” Sakusa asks amusedly.
“Yeah.” Atsumu shrugs, like there’s no flaw in that statement.
“Then, isn’t that just being in a relationship?”
“Well…” Atsumu drifts off, flailing his hands, “Ugh. Whatever. Semantics.”
Sakusa snorts. “You obviously weren’t ready for us to be good friends who have a lot of sex.”
Atsumu makes a face at him. “Hey, yer the one who made me sign a fuckin’ contract.”
“Okay, so neither of us were ready. Simple as that.” Sakusa shoots back, “Probably for the better, anyway. What would my parents have said if I brought home another man? Another actor, at that.”
That makes Atsumu pause.
“Yer parents aren’t okay with it?”
“Yes and no.” He says, furrowing his eyebrows like even he finds it confusing. “They weren’t exactly happy about it, but dad was a lot more pissed about me being an actor than he was about me being gay, so that’s saying something.”
“Damn. Did they like Ushiwaka, at least?” Atsumu asks, eyes fixed on the man in front of him, scared of hearing the answer for some reason.
“They liked him as a person, but I don’t know if they liked him as my partner.” He says, slicing another piece of meat. “I don’t think they liked the idea of me dating a man when I’m bisexual. In their heads, I could just easily choose a woman and make my life easier.”
Atsumu chuckles under his breath. “I mean, if it were that simple, wouldn’t that be the fuckin’ dream?”
“And add the fact that he’s a fucking actor, too.” Sakusa groans, like he’s reliving it all. “Dad always did act like choosing to become a celebrity was like… choosing to suffer.”
There’s a meaningful silence.
“Isn’t it though, kinda?” Atsumu says.
“Maybe.” Sakusa admits, “But I always felt like there was something more to it. At first I thought it was that he didn’t want me to succeed ‘cause he’d get jealous. But then…”
“Ya told me back then that he was happy.” Atsumu remembers like it was yesterday, “He was happy that ya made it.”
“Yeah. So, I guess it’s just that… he was scared that I’d end up like him.”
Atsumu purses his lips. “An addict?”
“Not really.” Sakusa shakes his head, “Just… empty.”
Atsumu isn’t sure what to say to that or how to control his expression so that it doesn’t look pained, so he picks up his chopsticks and takes another bite.
“Ushiwaka was… safe to me, because he was the furthest thing from being a mess, you know? Like, yeah he’s a man and an actor, but he has his shit together. I mean, there’s Kita Shinsuke, I guess, but who the hell is in his league, even if he was gay?”
“Ah,” Atsumu exclaims softly, “So, since ya didn’t really see yerself with a woman, ya just wanted the next best thing that yer parents would approve of.”
Sakusa shrugs, but Atsumu knows that’s what it is. He understands it all a little more now. Sakusa couldn’t have been with him back then.
Atsumu was everything that his parents wouldn’t have wanted for him. Atsumu was probably the very reason his dad didn’t want him to date celebrities at all.
“So,” Sakusa exhales loudly, as if trying to shake the heaviness off his shoulders, “I told you too much. What about you, then?”
“Okay.” Atsumu wipes his mouth, “What do ya wanna know this time?”
“Anything you couldn’t tell me then, that you can tell me now.” Sakusa says.
There were a lot of things that Atsumu couldn’t say out loud four years ago. Things that he couldn’t even think about for too long unless he wanted to send himself spiraling into another dark hole. Thinking about those things used to leave him trembling in his own skin. It’s weird now that he thinks about it. It’s strange how everything is still so vivid in his memory, but it’s almost like he’s watching it happen to someone who isn’t him.
Still, a lot of what happened back then weren’t exactly things he could easily talk about over dinner. If not for his own sake, then for the sake of Sakusa not losing his appetite.
So, he doesn’t talk about the bad parts.
“I’ll tell ya one thing, Omi-kun,” Atsumu says, a warm smile already making its way to his lips before he’s even begun, “I was a goddamn mess... but it could’ve been worse. If I didn’t have the people I have around me, it could’ve been miles worse.”
“Because every single time it got too bad,” Atsumu sighs, nostalgic, “— somehow, they always knew. I’d be ten seconds away from doin’ somethin’ irreversible and my mom would give me a call and say she thought about me that day and decided she just wanted to hear my voice. I wouldn’t be able to get outta bed, not even to take a shower, and Suna would come knockin’ at my door tellin’ me that I better get up and that he ain’t sittin’ next to me to binge watch Hunter x Hunter if I didn’t at least try ‘n brush my teeth. I’d get into my head ‘bout how I suck at acting and everyone’s just lyin’ to me, and Kita-san would send me this long ‘congratulations on the new movie’ message, listin’ down every reason why he thought I was brilliant. And Samu—”
His voice cracks at the mere mention of his twin and he has to clear his throat, blinking the moistness he hadn’t realized was gathering in his eyes, “— it was really fuckin’ tough for the both of us when dad died, but I barely even saw him grieve because he was so worried about me. He’s always done so… I just felt so fuckin’ sorry— fuckin’ hell, ”
There’s a hand squeezing his and it’s just as comforting and grounding as it’s always been. Atsumu holds onto it, like he always has because he’s never been able to help it.
“I swear I’m fine,” He assures, taking a few deep breaths, “These aren’t… I’m only emotional ‘cause I’m grateful.”
“I know.” Sakusa says and he sounds like he means it.
“It was a really bad time.” Atsumu says. “But I’m better now.”
“I know.” He says again, rubbing his skin with his thumb.
“I like when ya hold my hand.” Atsumu admits quietly, “It always helps.”
Sakusa doesn’t look at him but he does tighten his grip. “It helped me too.”
Neither of them really need to say it out loud because they both know. But Atsumu decides to say it anyway, because he needs to hear it. He needs to make sure that Sakusa at least knows this much.
“Hey, Omi?” Atsumu says, a little tense but soft and sincere all the same, “For the record, if there wasn’t so much on our plates back then, I would’ve…”
“Yeah.” Sakusa interrupts when he drifts off, because of course he knows. “I know. Me too… for the record.”
When Atsumu looks up, Sakusa’s finally meeting his gaze. And when they look at each other, Atsumu realizes, oh.
This isn’t about sex anymore. This had nothing to do with sex. Maybe, it hasn’t even been about that for a long time now, and he just hadn’t realized.
Because he’s sitting here with this beautiful boy, and all he can think about is how if he were given the chance to be able to spend the rest of his life holding Sakusa Kiyoomi’s hand like this and never anything else, he doesn’t think he could ask for anything more.
“Samu, don’t ya think it’d be okay now?” Atsumu asks his twin over Facetime, “I mean, yeah, it’ll still be tough ‘n there are issues about us that’re never gonna go away, and there are still things he doesn’t know blah blah fuckin’ blah, but we’re older and wiser and all that. Don’t ya think it could work?”
“I dunno what the hell ya want me to say, Tsumu. I ain’t Sakusa Kiyoomi. I can’t give ya the answer yer lookin’ for.” Osamu says, “If ya really wanna go for it, then by all means, go for it. I can’t tell ya for sure though, that he isn’t gonna look at ya and be like, damn, four years later? Have ya not gotten yer dick wet since then?”
“Fuck you, it isn’t about the sex.” Atsumu says defensively, “It’s… we’re friends now, y’know? I don’t even know how it happened, it just did. And it isn’t even the weird type of friendship where I secretly wanna jump him every minute. I just like him. And I know he likes me too, y’know? I make him laugh, he can tell me things he wouldn’t tell other people, he lets down his brick walls around me… he still holds my hand.”
Osamu purses his lips.
“That has to mean somethin’, right?” Atsumu asks, but it almost sounds like he’s begging, “It isn’t too late, is it?”
“Stop askin’ me that like I have all the answers, Tsumu, I don’t.”
“Tell me, anyway.” Atsumu requests. “Even if ya don’t know it. Just tell me it’ll be fine. Tell me that I worked hard enough and that I deserve this much. Tell me it isn’t too late for me to be in love and not have it be trampled by all my emotional baggage.
“Tsumu.” He says with that steady voice of his that Atsumu could trust anytime anywhere, “Yer gonna be fine. Ya worked hard and deserve everythin’ ya want. It’s never too late for anythin’. But I also don’t want ya to get hurt.”
“Neither do I.” Atsumu admits, “But I just… don’t wanna be scared anymore, ya know? Not about this.”
Both he and his brother have changed a lot over the years, especially after that night. But the one thing that hadn’t, the one thing that never would, was the unshakable belief that as long as they have each other, nothing could ever be all that bad.
“Whatever the hell ya say, Tsumu.” Osamu never was one to promise anything that he couldn’t keep, so instead of telling him that it’s gonna be fine and that it wouldn’t go wrong, he simply says, “I’m right here, ‘kay?”
Atsumu realizes he doesn’t need to hear anything more. “I know, ya scrub.”
After a few seconds, Osamu clears his throat.
“So? How was today? Have ya figured out whether the director’s havin’ sex with that makeup artist or not?”
“Christ, ya wouldn’t believe it.” Atsumu begins his (in Osamu’s opinion) overly detailed nightly spiel, “So, we started shootin’ really early, right? And Mika-chan comes in wearin’ a fuckin’ scarf when it’s thirty degrees out, so ya just know she’s hidin’ something ‘cause she’s on to me, I tell ya. And then…”
It all happens, ironically, in the midst of filming the climax of the movie. It’s when Touma finds out that his best friend, Hiro, is in love with the same girl and things get really bad. There’s a screaming match, there’s a fist fight, there are dramatic friendship breakup speeches that are honestly inherently homosexual, so that’s been… something.
It all happens right after he’d literally just asked Kiyoko, ‘Hey, do you think Atsumu might find it weird if I bring up… Okinawa?’ and she just goes ‘Whatever you do, just make sure to do it within a month’ which was a weird answer, but he doesn’t ask. He doesn’t think he wants to know.
It blindsides him, really. It just wasn’t something he was actively thinking about. Because while they had gotten pretty close with Haiba Alisa, while she did drunkenly cling onto him one night, and while he did see where Atsumu (and Akane, now that he thinks about it) were coming from when they’d repeatedly hint to him that Alisa might have a small crush on him, he couldn’t exactly focus on that when Atsumu was always just right there. All the fucking time.
And he’s as devastating as he always is. From the way he looks, to the way he speaks and the things he speaks about, to the way he moves, to the way he dresses, to the way he touches him.
Sakusa learns the hard way that Atsumu’s touch doesn’t have to be erotic to be overwhelming and that’s deemed to be a problem.
It wasn’t so bad four years ago when Sakusa just wanted to have sex with him all the time. Now, he looks at him in the morning when he walks in for hair and makeup and the first thing that pops into his head is ‘I want to cook him breakfast’. That’s when you know there’s no going back. Dinner, you can work with. But fucking breakfast? You’re screwed.
It’s in the midst of this internal mental breakdown that Haiba Alisa hits him with that cursed question.
“Kiyoomi-kun,” She chirps, plopping next to the empty space beside him, “I’m just gonna ask you this now, since you’re always with Atsumu-kun any other time. Are you guys together?”
Sakusa chokes. He wasn’t even eating or drinking anything. He literally just starts choking on his own spit.
He coughs, eyes getting teary, “What? Where… did you hear that?”
Alisa hands him a bottle of water, which he takes. “I don’t know. I guess a lot of us just get the vibe, you know? So, are you?”
“No.” Sakusa denies quickly, squirming in his seat, “We’re, uh… we just have a unique friendship, I guess.”
He doesn’t want to explain any further, so he just hopes she picks up on the undertones and gets what it means.
“Oh… that’s great, then!” Alisa grins, turning to face him fully, “Well, in that case, would you go on a date with me sometime, then?”
This time when he chokes, he spits water all over his lap. Was she not able to translate what unique friendship meant?
Did she not know that directly translates to: ‘ We’re co-stars twice over who used to have sex and almost got together but didn’t, so now we’re just friends stuck in this weird limbo of should we or should we not?’
Alisa only blinks at him expectantly as he continues to sputter.
“So… is that a yes?”
“Are you fucking serious?” Atsumu says through gritted teeth, pulling Sakusa by the collar of his shirt. “Tell me you’re lying.”
“She isn’t your property, Touma.” Sakusa says, reaching up to grab Atsumu by the wrist in an attempt to pull his hand off him, “She gets to decide who she wants to be with. Not you. Not me. Not anyone.”
“You lying shitbag.” Atsumu spits out, pushing him and making him stumble backwards. “You spent all these months lying to my fucking face. When you were canoodling with her behind my fucking back?”
“You left her. The world doesn’t fucking revolve around you.”
And here it comes.
He braces himself as Atsumu charges forward and pretends to sock him in the face. Sakusa falls to the ground, Atsumu tackles him, and Sakusa throws a punch back, and all the while thinks about how happy they probably would have been to be able to do this kind of scene for Make It Count.
They struggle against each other, rolling around the floor, spitting profanities at each other, until they hear the director yell ‘Cut!’.
“That was so good!” He says through his voice amplifier. “Let’s go again in five.”
Instantly, they let go of each other with a tired groan. Atsumu lifts himself off him, lying on his back next to him, pillowing his head on Sakusa’s arm.
“Look at that,” Atsumu says breathily, “I guess our onscreen chemistry also applies to beatin’ each other up.”
Sakusa snorts. “Obviously. Isn’t that how we started?”
It comes so naturally, the way that Atsumu curls into Sakusa a little bit. This part, lying next to each other, panting for breath, this was familiar to them.
Granted, they were usually completely naked.
Sakusa fights the strong urge to reach up and play with the man’s hair or do something even stupider like turn his head and kiss him on the cheek. He couldn’t do that in front of everyone else and especially not right now, because…
“Atsumu? Can I ask you something?”
“Hm?” He hums questioningly with his eyes closed, giving himself a moment to relax.
“Alisa asked me out this morning.” Sakusa says. “She said she wants to go on a date.”
It takes Atsumu a beat longer than normal to respond, but when he does it’s just a teasing, “Told ya so.”
Sakusa waits for him to show any sort of negative emotion. Annoyance? Anger? Jealousy? Where was all of that now that Sakusa wanted to see it?
“What’d ya say?” Atsumu asks.
“That’s what I wanted to ask you about.” Sakusa says carefully, looking at him from the corner of his eye, “I’m… wondering. Do you think I should say yes?”
Sakusa decides on a whim.
If he tells him to say no, he’ll ask him out. If he tells him to go for it, he’ll let go for good.
“When have ya ever asked for anyone else's opinion, Omi?” Atsumu asks, narrowing his eyes at him, “Why does it matter what I think?”
“Of course, it does.” Sakusa says, “It matters to me.”
The look Atsumu gives him at those words lasts for a long time, lasts for what feels like forever, and Sakusa spends all of that time trying to understand what it means, but he can’t.
Tell me to say no. Tell me you want to be with me. One word from you and I’d say no, in a heartbeat.
Atsumu smiles, nudging his side playfully.
“She’s a great girl, ya know. Clean reputation and all.” He says softly, “I want ya to do what’ll make ya happiest in the long run.”
What the hell are you talking about? Just tell me to say no.
“So, if ya wanna say yes,” Atsumu winks at him, “— just make sure I’m gonna be a groomsman at the high coverage wedding, okay?”
In hindsight, Atsumu was right. He’d thought about it, too. Haiba Alisa was a good person, a talented actress, with a clean image. Sakusa doesn’t lean too much towards women, but if he were to fall for any woman, he wouldn’t be able to do much better than Haiba Alisa. He could like her. Maybe, given some time. She was the national sweetheart and she wanted to go out with him. He should be jumping for joy. He probably would have, if this had happened just a few years earlier.
But right now, all he feels is empty.
He swallows down the lump in his throat. “Sure. I guess I’ll update you.”
“Yeah.” Atsumu says.
“You two ready for another take?” The director yells, cutting off a conversation that Sakusa wasn’t sure was over.
Atsumu sits up abruptly, “Always!”
They spend the rest of the shoot the way they always do. Atsumu spends the rest of the day acting like nothing happened. And maybe to him, nothing had.
That night, Sakusa goes up to Alisa and simply says yes. She knows what it means. Atsumu gives him a thumbs up from the other end of the room.
This wouldn’t be the first time Sakusa had agreed to date someone out of pure convenience. He remembers a time that he thought that’s all he’d ever want to date anyone for. He wonders if it’s always felt so meaningless.
He stares at Atsumu from afar, smiling brightly as he takes a selfie with one of the makeup artists.
He feels hollow. Maybe, because he now understands what it feels like to want someone not because they’re safe, but to want them despite the fact that they aren’t.
Haiba Alisa and Sakusa Kiyoomi are all over the headlines not long after they finish filming, because of course the paparazzi catch them going on that date. They’re Haiba Alisa and Sakusa Kiyoomi.
They don’t confirm anything, but they do go as each other’s dates during the premiere and the Academy Awards, and that pretty much speaks for itself. Their movie wins three different prizes. Alisa wins Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress and Sakusa kisses her cheek when she does. They also win Most Popular Film and Alisa holds Sakusa’s hand, then. Atsumu wins Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor. Both Alisa and Sakusa congratulate him, giving him one-armed hugs.
Atsumu doesn’t remember what he said in his speech. In fact, he doesn’t remember winning at all. He can’t remember anything other than Alisa leaning her head against his Omi’s shoulders, and looking up at him with that same expression of awe that Atsumu knows he had on his face too once, when he first met him years ago.
During interviews, he gets asked how he feels that two of his co-stars had gotten together and what it was like watching them fall in love.
‘I’m really happy for them. I care about them both and just want them to be happy.’
Translation: Hey, Omi. Does she touch you like I do? Do you touch her like you used to touch me? Hey, Omi. Can I ask you something? Is it supposed to feel like I’m being ripped apart?
Later that night, back in his apartment where it’s safe, Osamu asks him, “Are ya really okay?”
Over the years, he’s managed to get past the point of lying just to look like he has his shit together. So instead of doing that, he’s honest.
“No.” He answers coolly, flipping through the newest script he’d gotten in the mail, “But I will be. It’s not the end of the world that he’s datin’ someone else. Besides, Omi’s only tryin’ it out. They probably won’t last that long, anyway.”
“And what if they do?” Suna asks, “What then?”
Atsumu’s fingers tighten around the paper in his hands. “I don’t know. But I’ll be okay then, too. I have to be. But ‘til then…”
He takes a deep breath and focuses on reading, “I’m just gonna get back to work.”
They see each other once a month, then it turns into once every few months, and then it turns into never at all. Sakusa’s one month with Alisa turns into two, and then six, and then a year. Atsumu often wonders if that has anything to do with it.
Miya Atsumu, Mar. 14
omi omi~ are u free
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Mar. 15
Sorry, just saw this. Maybe next time?
Miya Atsumu, Mar. 20
happy birthday omiiii!! lmk when we can hang out to celebrate!!!
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Mar. 20
Thanks! Will do.
Miya Atsumu, Apr. 9
saw the new trailer!! congrats! you were good 🤩
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Apr. 9
Thanks. Looking forward to what you have in store too.
Sakusa Kiyoomi, May 27
Congrats on the new film!
Miya Atsumu, May 27
thank you omi-omi 🤪
Miya Atsumu, June 13
are you free soon? wanna hang out?
Miya Atsumu, July 17
omiiii are you free?
Sakusa Kiyoomi, Oct. 15
Miya Atsumu, Oct. 15
It’s past midnight by the time Sakusa sees the video while he’s scrolling through Youtube. He almost doesn’t watch it. He isn’t sure how he feels about the man anymore and is too scared to find out. Being friends and nothing but friends turned out to be harder than he thought it would be. He couldn’t do it. Not when he feels like he’s cheating on his girlfriend every time he and Atsumu do literally anything.
He hesitates, but clicks on the video anyway. He pauses it before it can start playing and he goes through the comments, just so he knows what he has to prepare himself for because he always has to prepare as long as Miya Atsumu is concerned.
Miya Atsumu can crush me with his thighs and I’d thank him for it.
he always talks about Osamu with so much love i’m soft :-(
I feel so bad for him because I really feel like the media villainized him before, when he was only a kid. A kid who was going through so much behind the scenes, might I add. To this day, he’s never fully disclosed what exactly happened to him before, but I hope one day he does. He’s been doing so well these days that I wonder what the turning point was for him. He’s such a talented, well-spoken dude who actually seems like a fun person to be around. I hope he’s doing good.
Sakuatsu remains superior.
Did you guys hear how warmly he spoke of Sakusa? I’m CRYING. I LOVE THEM.
I wonder what happened with them, they used to be so close. After Sky Blue, they just stopped being seen together. People say it might have to do with Alisa.
Sakusa knows this is a bad idea. He scrolls up and presses play, anyway.
Miya Atsumu Answers The Web’s Most Searched Questions | WIRED
“Is Miya Atsumu….” He drifts off, carefully ripping the sticker off, “... single?”
“That’s not any of yer business now, is it?” Atsumu says pointedly, looking directly at the camera playfully, “But for the video’s sake, I’ll answer. Yes, I am. Not that it would benefit any of ya, anyway. Next!”
“Is Miya Atsumu… a child star? Yes, I am. I used to be in commercials and was in a famous movie with my brother when we were kids called The Parent Prank. Go watch it. Next!”
He rips off another sticker. “Is Miya Atsumu a twin? Yes, I’m a twin. I’m two minutes older than my brother, Osamu, and he’s an idiot but he’s my idiot. Next!”
“Is Miya Atsumu…” He removes the sticker slowly and once he sees the blocked portion of the question, his breath hitches. He tries not to show any tension. “... still friends with Sakusa Kiyoomi?”
Atsumu gulps down whatever it is he almost says out loud. He feels like it might be, ‘Why don’t you go and ask him?’
“Wow, I didn’t know people were still so invested in my friendship with Omi-kun.” He chuckles and hopes it sounds genuine, “Well, it’s been a long time since Make It Count . It’s been about six years now, I think? And almost two years since we did Sky Blue together with Alisa-chan. So, honestly we haven’t really been in touch these days. But…”
He takes a deep breath and smiles at the camera. “Omi will always be special to me. I’m sorry to everyone else I’ve worked with ‘cause I love all of ya, but aside from Samu who’ll always have the #1 spot, Omi’s probably my favorite co-star and my favorite of all the people I’ve ever worked with.”
“Why is that?” One of the staff asks from behind the camera.
“‘Cause he’s talented as hell, of course.” Atsumu says, “And because… wow, I don’t think I’ve ever said this anywhere. But of all the people I worked with or talked to after my hiatus, he was the only one, the only one, who didn’t ask me what happened. Even when he was the one who had the most chances to.”
Atsumu smiles and it’s melancholy as he says, “This is kind of weird to say because it’s not like we clicked instantly, y’know? Honestly, we didn’t even like each other all that much at first. But… somehow, I don’t think I ever even told him this, but he understood me more than anyone... and gave me room to breathe, without even knowing me. He gave me what I needed most during a time that I didn’t know how to ask for it. For that, I think he’s always going to be important to me.”
After he says that, Atsumu instantly coughs awkwardly, waves it off, and jokes about how he got too serious just then, before hurrying to answer the next question. But…
“Kiyoomi?” Alisa calls out softly from next to him, raising a hand to wipe under his eyes, “You’re crying.”
“Am I?” Sakusa asks, shakily raising his own hand to feel the wetness on his cheeks. “Huh. I guess I am. I wonder why.”
Alisa stares at the man next to her in bed as he stares blankly at the wall. It’s been nearly two years and it’s been two years filled with mostly good things.
Sakusa Kiyoomi is kind, patient, and secretly funny in a way not a lot of people know about. He’s considerate, he’s a good listener, he has a pretty smile, and a gentle laugh. He’s a good cook, he does chores without complaint, he makes an effort in everything he does and of course his relationships fall under that, too. Sakusa Kiyoomi was, in many ways, the best partner anyone could ever ask for.
He gives her advice, he gives her comfort, he gives her his effort, he gives her friendship, he gives her listening ears, he gives her time, he gives her moral support, he gives her a good sex life, and he gives her genuine care.
But that’s it.
And the more that she thinks about it, maybe the signs were all there from the very beginning. Even right now, when he’s lying in bed next to her, he still doesn’t look at her the way he looks at the Miya Atsumu on his phone screen.
She knows and she thinks she always has known, that of all the things he can give her and has given her, none of those things is love.
It’s never been love.
Atsumu’s watching the newest Jujutsu Kaisen episode when Bokuto sends him the link, along with a message asking, “Did you know about this?!?!?!”
Atsumu did not, in fact, know about it.
ARE WEDDING BELLS RINGING FOR SAKUSA KIYOOMI AND HAIBA ALISA? WHAT’S WITH THE DIAMOND RING?
That title caught your attention, didn’t it? Power couple of the past two years, Sakusa Kiyoomi and Haiba Alisa, actually met during the shooting of Sky Blue two years ago, that they starred in alongside fellow actor and good friend, Miya Atsumu. According to Miya, it was Haiba who started harboring a crush first and asked Sakusa out. Sakusa had then asked Miya for advice, Miya then telling him to go for it! Sakusa had taken that advice and they’ve been a solid couple ever since. Miya likes to take all the credit for it.
But this time, it seems Sakusa Kiyoomi has done some impressive romancing that he didn’t seem to need any advice for from Miya Atsumu. Haiba Alisa was spotted out today, wearing a new, never before seen diamond ring on her left ring finger. A reliable source tells us that both their families are fully supportive of their relationship and the two have been thinking about officially moving in together sometime soon, and have even started looking for houses. Is this what moving in together meant?
While we haven’t received any confirmation from the couple, we at least know that their relationship is going steady and that it doesn’t look like our beloved couple will be parting ways anytime in the future. We wish them the best of luck and the sweetest of everlasting love!
This is what leads to Atsumu grab his car keys and go for a midnight drive. He wonders if that article is as disgusting as it makes him feel or if he’s just being bitter. Probably both.
Don’t get him wrong. He doesn’t love Sakusa Kiyoomi. He doesn’t. If he did, then he’d be crying right now, right? If he did, then he wouldn’t have been able to function as well as he has the past two years. If he did, he probably would’ve cracked by now. If he loved him, then he would’ve taken that risk, years ago. He doesn’t love him.
He could’ve. He almost did. But he doesn’t.
He keeps driving, not sure where he’s headed, hands tight around the steering wheel, as he tries to keep his heart rate in check. Why is it beating so fast?
He looks at the speed meter and he realizes he’s driving past the limit. His vision starts to get hazy but he isn’t crying. At least, he doesn’t think he is. His skin starts to tingle and his breathing starts to quicken.
Wait. Where is he right now? He needs to calm down. Focus.
He hurriedly turns on the radio to get rid of the stifling quiet and is met with a radio DJ’s voice introducing a new song, apparently the OST for a recent romantic drama. A ballad. Atsumu could use a ballad right about now.
“This is an original track from the movie called The Letter, sung by Sakusa Kiyoomi himself, Dear You.”
“For fuck’s sake.” Atsumu laments, swerving so that he can stop by the side of the road. “Fucking—”
Sakusa’s low, soulful voice fills the car and Atsumu can’t focus on the fact that he didn’t even fucking know that he was the one who’d sang the OST, because he’s too focused on repeatedly punching his steering wheel and releasing a long string of swear words that he’s not sure who he’s directing to, but it’s most likely to himself.
Sakusa sings about finding true love as Atsumu’s ‘motherfucking shitting fuck’ breaks off on the last word and turns into a sob and he realizes he’s crying and that he can’t breathe. And then he gets mad about the fact that he’s sobbing and that he can’t breathe.
Why the fuck is he crying so hard? They haven’t even properly spoken in years. The last message he’d gotten from him was a measly, impersonal happy birthday. Not even an ‘enjoy your day’ or ‘I miss you.’ Just happy birthday.
And it’s not like Atsumu hasn’t tried (and failed) dating other people over the years. It’s not like Atsumu was still holding onto a sliver of hope that maybe, one day, they could be together. Was he?
Maybe a little bit.
But that doesn't matter because now, apparently he’s getting married. Apparently, he’s engaged. Apparently, he bought Haiba Alisa a diamond ring. Apparently, their families are fully supportive and they’re looking for a house. And Atsumu can’t fucking breathe.
Maybe, he should just call him. Ask him, is it true? Did you really propose? Are you marrying her? If I’d known back then, that me telling you to go for it would lead to you getting married, I wouldn’t have done it. Can I take it back? Are you happy with her? If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have proposed. I should be happy that you’re happy, but I’m not, is that wrong?
Hey, Omi. Do you think it could’ve been me?
He picks up his phone, sees his name, and almost presses the call button. The only thing stopping him is what’s left of his dignity. What would that even look like to him?
You’re newly engaged and your fuck buddy from years ago calls you crying, asking you why? It’s downright pathetic. He’s downright pathetic. He needs to calm down. He needs a drink.
Fuck. No, he doesn’t.
No, he doesn’t . He can’t even drive right now.
His hands start to shake more violently. He squeezes his eyes closed, tries to listen to Osamu’s voice in his head telling him what to do when he feels like this.
Breathe, Tsumu. Just sit for a second, try to breathe, and clear your head. If it isn’t working, call whoever’s closest.
Call whoever’s closest. He can do that.
He blinks repeatedly, trying to clear his vision and his head, and sees that he hasn’t gotten that far from home. The closest is Kita.
Your hands work, Atsumu, call his number.
It’s a struggle, but he manages to click the call button, and he realizes it’s past midnight but he’s going to pick up. He knows Kita’s going to pick up. He always does.
It only takes three rings. Atsumu tries not to audibly sigh in relief when he hears the tell-tale clicking noise.
“Atsumu?” Kita says, groggily. “Why’re you calling so late?”
It only takes hearing his voice for Atsumu to break down, completely.
“Hey Kita-san,” He hiccups, “I’m… I’m in my car. I’m near the 7/11. I can’t drive. I’m sorry. Can ya come get me?”
He hears loud rustling. “I’m on my way. Did you drink anything?”
“No.” He says, but it comes out as a sob, “I just can’t drive. Can ya come get me, please?”
“I’m coming. Stay right there, okay? Do you want me to stay on the phone with you?”
“Mmm. Can ya hurry?”
“I’m hurrying.” Kita says, panting like he really is hurrying.
“I love ya, Kita-san.” Atsumu manages to say, even in the middle of an emotional meltdown.
“I love you too.” Kita answers easily, but there’s a hint of frantic desperation in it. “I love you, so… so stay on the phone with me, okay? Atsumu?”
“I will. Don’t panic.” Atsumu sniffs, closing his eyes, already calming down slightly. “Damn, Kita-san… maybe I should’ve just fallen for you instead.”
Kita pauses on the other line. “Didn’t we decide long ago that that wouldn’t have been the best idea?”
“I know.” Atsumu says. “I just wish it was, sometimes.”
“Kita-san,” Atsumu slurs drunkenly, pressing his cheek against the boy’s shoulder, “Have I told ya… how perfect you are?”
Kita bites back a fond smile, gently ruffling the boy’s hair. “Come on, Atsumu. You’re wasted. Drink some water.”
“No,” Atsumu whines, furrowing his eyebrows, pushing the glass of water he’s being offered away, “I wanna… wanna keep bein’ drunk. Yer nicer to me when I’m drunk.”
“Because you’re whinier when you’re drunk.” Kita retorts, “And you seem to regress in age, too.”
“Jus’ around ya.” Atsumu smiles, rubbing his face against his shirt, “‘Cause yer nice to me.”
“Just around me, huh?” Kita sighs, “Well, that’s good to know ‘cause anyone else would hit you. Come on. Drink some water.”
Atsumu stubbornly harrumphs, throwing both his arms around Kita’s neck, snuggling into him.
“Atsumu,” Kita sighs, tiredly setting the water down so that he can pull the drunk boy off himself, “Get a hold of yourself. You told me you wouldn’t get this drunk. Don’t you have work tomorrow?”
“Hmmmm,” Atsumu hums into his shirt, “I do, but that’s ‘kay. I still work well even when I’m hungover, y’know? It’s a useful skill.”
“It’s not one that you should be getting used to.” Kita scolds, cupping Atsumu’s cheeks to make the boy look up at him, albeit blearily. “What’s happening with you, huh? Why are you acting like this?”
“Acting like what?” Atsumu tilts his head. “I’m… actin’ the way I always do.”
“No, you’re starting to act out again.” Kita insists, trying to hoist him up, but the boy refuses, tightening his grip around him. “I thought we already went over this. I don’t want you to fall off the wagon, Atsumu.”
“Then…” Atsumu starts, lowering one of his hands to curl around the back of Kita’s neck, “... will ya date me?”
Kita freezes, blood turning cold, suddenly. “What?”
“Don’t look at me like that.” Atsumu says quietly, staring into Kita’s eyes, “Ya know I’ve always liked ya. You just don’t wanna acknowledge it, ‘cause then that’ll mean havin’ to do somethin’ about it, right? Yer too scared to reject me, aren’t ya?”
“It’s not like that.” Kita argues.
“Then what?” Atsumu presses, “Why don’t ya wanna talk about it?”
Kita’s grip on Atsumu tightens. He looks at the boy drunkenly clinging onto him, like he’s all he can cling onto, and he knows in himself that maybe if circumstances were different, he would want to be with him.
Even right now, at this very moment, Kita stares into the boy’s clear eyes and thinks, maybe a part of him does want to be with him. Because he loves Atsumu. He’ll always love Atsumu.
It’s because he loves him so much that he doesn’t want to be with him.
“Because you don’t really love me, Atsumu. Not like that.” Kita says gently, “You’re scared and you’re trying to hold onto what’s closest and what feels safest. And that’s me.”
“That’s stupid.” Atsumu spits out, looking genuinely offended. “That’s dumb. That’s not it. If I… if I didn’t love ya… then I wouldn’t be able to do this—”
Kita knows what he’s about to do before he moves. Just as Atumu’s about to lean forward and press their lips together, Kita turns his head away, and presses Atsumu’s face into his neck. Atsumu makes a small noise into his skin.
Kita only runs a hand through his hair.
“Go to sleep, Atsumu.” He whispers, “You’ll forget about this tomorrow. Like you always do.”
Atsumu doesn’t stay awake enough to hear him finish his sentence. His head drops, cheek pressing against Kita’s shoulder, drooling onto his shirt.
The last thing he says is, ‘I… jus’ don’ wanna… be alone anymore.’
Kita fights back tears as he presses a gentle kiss into the boy’s hair.
“See?” He says quietly, to the sleeping boy who can’t hear, “Like I said… you don’t love me. Not like that.”
“Hey, Atsumu. Open the door. It’s me!”
The voice sounds muffled and far away, as if they’re underwater. It’s only when it’s accompanied by loud knocking against his car window that he realizes it’s Kita.
The feeling of relief that overcomes him is instant.
He hurriedly unlocks his door with shaky hands, opens it, and immediately throws his arms around Kita’s torso, burying his face in his stomach.
He’s crying like a baby again, but it feels less painful and more gratifying to have arms wrapped around him as he does.
“Jeez, Atsumu,” Kita sighs, pressing his lips to the top of his head while rubbing his back, “What happened to you?”
“Omi.” Atsumu replies pitifully, muffled into Kita’s jacket, “He’s getting married.”
Kita tenses. “He’s what?”
“Getting married.” Atsumu repeats, “The news said so.”
“Was it confirmed?”
“No, but…” Atsumu sniffs, “She’s wearing a diamond ring. And they haven’t denied it, either.”
“Atsumu,” Kita chides, pulling the man away from him, so he can look at his face, “You’re having a breakdown over something that isn’t even confirmed yet.”
“The thought is bad enough.” He argues, wiping his tears away and doing a sloppy job of it, “I don’t want him to get married. I don’t want him to keep being with her. I should’ve just told him to say no back then.”
Kita crouches down to meet Atsumu’s eyes. “Well. Why didn’t you, then?”
“Because I’m not… I’m not what he’s looking for.” He says, “He wants someone safe. He wants someone with a clean image and a good reputation. He wants someone his parents would want for him. He wants someone… who’ll give him peace.”
Kita squeezes both his hands in his.
“I can’t give him any of those things. I’m not any of those things. I couldn’t be even if I tried.”
“So, you’re not what he’s looking for. And you knew that, back then.” Kita repeats, “So why are you crying about it right now? Two years later?”
Atsumu pauses at that. He’s been asking himself that same question, too. He’s kept telling himself all this time, all these years, that he doesn’t love Sakusa Kiyoomi. That he couldn’t be in love with him.
“Say, Kita-san…” He says softly, “Are ya ever scared that no matter how hard ya work or how far ya go, yer still gonna be stuck in the same place for the rest of yer life, and there’s no way to escape it?”
Atsumu can almost physically hear Kita’s heart shatter just by the look on his face.
“Atsumu, you’ve already escaped.” Kita says firmly, “Look at how much you’ve done. Look at how far you’ve gotten. Look at you.”
“Yeah, look at me.” Atsumu says sarcastically, tears streaming down his face. “Cryin’ like a baby in my fuckin’ car, havin’ to call ya ‘cause I can’t drive myself home, ‘cause I’m havin’ a goddamn meltdown over a guy I’ve had feelings for for six fuckin’ years, who’s gettin’ married, ‘cause he doesn’t wanna be with me ‘cause I’m a fuckin’—” He gasps for breath, “— crazy ass child star who lost his fuckin’ marbles and landed himself in rehab—”
Kita cuts him off with a bone crushing hug.
“Stop talking like that.” He says, voice quivering in a way that it never does, “Don’t you ever talk about yourself like that, do you understand me?”
“It’s true.” Atsumu shudders against his shoulder.
“No, it’s not.” Kita says, grabbing him by the arms and gripping him so tightly that Atsumu’s sure it’ll leave bruises. “I’m only saying this once so you listen to me and get this through you fucking head, okay?”
Atsumu knows it’s real when Kita starts swearing.
“Maybe, it’s true that you messed up. You shouldn’t have turned to alcohol and you shouldn’t have turned to drugs. You should’ve talked to me, to Suna, to Osamu, especially, or to your mom. You did hurt people. And it was hard. For all of us. But, Atsumu, you were just a fucking kid.”
Atsumu’s chin wobbles and he lowers his head to gather himself.
“And when you’re a kid, everything feels like the end of the fucking world and with the things that were happening to you back then? Jesus , if those things happened to me even as a grown man, I’d probably have a breakdown too.”
“No, ya wouldn’t.” Atsumu manages a weak smile. “Yer—“
“I’m not God, Atsumu.” Kita says before he can finish his sentence. “I’m human, just like you. And that’s why I can say what a damn amazing one you are. Don’t be ashamed of yourself. It was hell, but you’re here now, aren’t you?”
He shuffles closer, cupping Atsumu’s cheek with his hand. “That was all you. You’re the one who gave yourself the chance to live again. To try again. Don’t waste it by trying to convince yourself that your life is over. Not when you worked so hard for it.”
Atsumu doesn’t know what comes over him at that moment.
A little bit of desperation, a little bit of neediness, and a whole lot of gratitude. It’s probably just because it’s been a long night and it’s probably just because he was already emotional to begin with, and that’s why he ends up leaning forward and pressing his lips against Kita’s.
The memories are unclear now, but he’s pretty sure he’s tried to kiss him before. More than once. Always when he was drunk.
Kita had never let it happen.
He lets it happen now. He doesn’t exactly reciprocate, but he doesn’t move away, either.
When Atsumu opens his eyes, he sees that Kita hadn’t even closed his. He just stares at him with an unreadable expression. It doesn’t look like shock. It just looks a lot like… love.
And slowly, Kita’s lips curl into a soft smile.
“You’ve at least finally gotten that out of your system now, huh?”
“Fuck,” Atsumu laughs breathlessly, “Shit, Kita-san, I’m sorry. I just…”
Kita shakes his head, pulling Atsumu down so that he can kiss his hair. “I know.”
Atsumu hides his face in his shoulder. “I really did love ya, y’know. It wasn’t just because I was sad.”
“Yeah.” Kita says, rubbing his back. “I know that now.”
“If I told him I loved him now, would it be too late?”
Kita purses his lips, squeezing him tighter. “I don’t know much about what happened between the two of you. But I do know that it’s wrong to insert yourself in a relationship that’s doing well.”
Atsumu groans. “I hate when yer right.”
“Then, you hate me all the time?” Kita asks, pulling away.
“Always.” Atsumu nods.
Kita examines his face for a moment, before asking, “Are you okay to drive yourself home now?”
“Yeah.” Atsumu says, sounding a lot more steady. “Can ya spend the night, though? I kinda don’t wanna be alone now ‘n everything.”
“Sure.” Kita says, ruffling his hair one last time before pulling away completely to get into the passenger’s seat. “Are you gonna be okay now?”
“I guess. Maybe, I should go on a vacation or somethin’ for a while, y’know? Go back to Okinawa ‘n just… let it go once ‘n for all.”
“That idea doesn’t sound half bad. Let Suna know. He’ll understand.”
“Thank you.” He says, sincerely.
Kita only responds by pinching his cheek. “No need for any thanks, idiot. As long as you’re okay. Let’s go.”
Atsumu thinks about how the last time he’d sobbed in his car the way he did tonight, he ended up nearly losing his life, and then landing himself in rehab at twenty years old.
Tonight, he drives himself back home with steady hands.
He wakes up the next morning with a slap to the face and the covers being violently ripped off him.
“Don’t you fucking uuugghhh me! What is this!” A voice that sounds like an upset Suna Rintarou yells.
Atsumu’s eyes blink open groggily and when they start to focus, he sees that Osamu is standing right beside his manager with his arms crossed in front of his chest, next to Kita who looks calm but deeply concerned, and that there’s a phone being held unnecessarily close to his face.
“It’s a fuckin’ mess, Tsumu.” Osamu says, “Yer both trendin’ on Twitter ‘n everythin’.”
Atsumu has a bad feeling, suddenly. He sees the title of the article and instantly bolts into a sitting position, grabbing Suna’s phone frantically.
MIYA ATSUMU AND KITA SHINSUKE CAUGHT KISSING
Yes, you read that right. Not just one, but two of the biggest child stars of our decade, Kita Shinsuke and Miya Atsumu, caught in a liplock and loving embrace just a few streets away from their homes in Minato Ward. These photos were taken just yesterday at around 1:30 in the morning! According to sources, Miya had driven to that place specifically to meet up with Kita. Once Kita arrived, they were instantly locked in an embrace. Miya looked distressed and was crying, Shinsuke seemingly comforting him.
Miya then proceeds to thank him with a… kiss.
We’ve always known that the two were close friends but who could’ve known that two of the most in-demand young actors swung that way and were in a less than platonic relationship all this time? Not us! Looks like Miya’s role in Make It Count wasn’t too far fetched from the real him. This also marks Kita Shinsuke’s first ever scandal, when he’s managed to keep his image clean for years! And to think, it’s one of this nature. We can hear girls’ hearts cracking all over the country right now. Do you think this is going to harm their chances of getting roles? Or are they much too big and much too talented to have this affect them? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
“This… isn’t looking good, guys.” Suna tells them like it is, grimacing as he looks up at them. “We need to do some damage control.”
“Kita-san…” Atsumu whispers horrified, eyes wide and fixated on the phone screen, “I’m so fuckin’ sor—“
“Don’t you dare apologize.” Kita cuts him off. “Don’t.”
“No, I shouldn’t have— I ruined everything, you’ve never even had a scandal before and I…”
“They were going to find out, eventually.” Kita assures, “If they were gonna find out against my will, I’d rather they just find out like this.”
“ Don’t . You didn’t ruin anything. It’s okay. Because this isn’t a scandal.” Kita says, “It’s just the truth.”
“Okay, but…” Osamu starts to ask, “What are ya gonna tell the media?”
Kita shrugs, looking at Atsumu. “Are you okay with telling them the truth?”
Atsumu really doesn’t think Kita should look as calm as he does. But at least his calmness keeps his own panic at bay.
“Yeah… I guess. Might as well do it now rather than deny it and then have to re-explain later. Besides, I don’t know how we can make those pictures look… not gay.”
Suna gives them both a look over before taking a deep breath and saying, “Okay. I can’t promise this won’t be a fucking disaster but if you’re both sure, I support you.”
He then turns off his manager mode for a moment to just be a friend and walks over to the both of them to give them a hug, prompting Osamu to join in.
After a few minutes of warm, comforting silence, his twin ends it in typical Osamu fashion.
“Okay, now that that discussion’s over and done with—“ He pulls away, “Can ya please tell me why in the fuck you two were kissing?”
“So, there’s a lot to unpack here.” Komori says, scrolling through the headlines with squinty eyes. “First of all, holy fuck. I didn’t know Miya Atsumu and Kita Shinsuke were a thing. How long has this been going on? Did you know?”
“No.” Sakusa says with gritted teeth and he doesn’t know why he’s so upset about this, why he’s so fucking worried about this, and why he can’t bring himself to look at the pictures for a second time, but he’d rather not unpack all that.
“Motoya-kun, I don’t think talking about this is a good idea.” Kiyoko says in a low voice. “Kiyoomi-kun, are you okay?”
Sakusa glares at her. “Why? Why are you assuming I would be anything but okay?”
“Because you’re crumpling the script in your hands.” She points out.
Sakusa looks down and the script he’d been reading is indeed damaged.
“Fuck.” He grumbles, tossing it onto the couch and curling into himself. “Whatever.”
“Wait, I’m not done.” Komori interrupts, raising a finger. “Second of all, since when were you and Alisa engaged?”
Sakusa rolls his eyes. “It’s just because of that dumb ring. I didn’t even get her that, she hates being gifted expensive stuff, ‘cause she always says she can buy them herself.”
“Ooh, we stan an independent woman.” Komori praises.
“She is.” Sakusa agrees, “But I didn’t propose.”
“Is it true that you two are looking for houses together, though?” Kiyoko asks.
“What? No, you’d be updated on that if we were.” Sakusa makes a face. “Honestly. Are you guys really going to believe anything the fucking celebrity news articles say?”
Komori raises his eyebrows.
“Funny you should say that, because who’s the one getting all bothered by Miya Atsumu and Kita Shinsuke being called a couple?”
“Well, that’s different! There are literal pictures of them kissing!” Sakusa argues.
“Aha!” Komori exclaims, “So, you admit that you’re bothered.”
Sakusa balks. “I… I didn’t admit to shit.”
“Ugh. King of Denial.”
“If you want my honest thoughts,” Kiyoko says, leaning forward seriously, “While I think that your relationship with Alisa-chan has been good for you in a way, I just don’t think I can imagine the two of you getting married.”
Sakusa fights back the urge to get upset because deep down, he agreed with her.
“You care about each other, but you’re not in love with each other.” Kiyoko points out, “Am I right in saying that?”
God, he hates her. Why does she always have to know everything?
“So? Who stays together just because they’re in love these days?” Sakusa grumbles, but doesn’t say that she’s wrong.
Kiyoko bites her bottom lip, nervously. “You know… I always thought you and Atsumu would end up together, eventually. You two felt something for each other, didn’t you?”
“Aaaand she said it.” Komori says quietly, leaning back, as if to give himself room to avoid the impending chaos.
Sakusa should be mad right now, but all he can think of saying is, yeah, I thought so too. He doesn’t say that out loud, though. He doesn’t know how to explain how exactly he feels about Miya Atsumu without sounding crazy.
Yes, I’ve been dating someone for the past two years but still, he’s stuck in my head? Yes, I’m with someone else but seeing him kiss Kita Shinsuke fucking stings anyway? Yes, I know it’s been two years, but everytime I see him it still feels like the first time? Yes, I know I said I’ve moved on from it, but it feels like my heart was left in Okinawa? Yes, he shouldn’t be my type and I know why we couldn’t be together, but a part of me still wants him, anyway.
A part of me will probably always want him.
He can’t say any of those things. Hell, he can barely even admit it to himself.
“I really did ask him what to do back then. He wasn’t just talking shit in all those interviews.” He says instead, “I told him when Alisa asked me out and asked him whether or not I should say yes.”
Kiyoko and Komori wait for him to continue.
“I decided then and there that if he said not to do it, I’d try asking him out on a real date. And if he tells me to go for it, then I’d give up on him.” He shrugs, “He told me she’s a great girl who my parents would love… and to go ahead. He was right, of course.”
He shakes his head and laughs humorlessly.
“You know, there’s this thing I do. Before I ever consider dating anyone, the first thing I do is I try to visualize a future with them. And if I don’t like what I see or if I can’t see anything at all, then I don’t waste my time.” He says, “Back then… I don’t think I was able to visualize a future for us. Nothing good, anyway. But that day, if he’d told me to say no… I would’ve listened to him. In a fucking heartbeat. Isn’t that funny?”
Komori purses his lips. “You’re an idiot.”
“Maybe.” Sakusa sighs, leaning back. “But… Alisa’s a good person. My parents like her. And he ended up with Kita Shinsuke, who’s pretty much God in human form. So, maybe Atsumu was right. Maybe, this is the best case scenario. Maybe… maybe I should really just go ahead and marry her.”
“Kiyoomi-kun,” Kiyoko says firmly, “Is that really what you want? Is that really what she would want?”
Sakusa scoffs. “It’s not about what we want. When has it ever mattered what we want?”
Komori groans loudly.
“God. What is with you two? It’s like you didn’t learn anything from Make It Count.”
One thing that Sakusa has really liked about being with Alisa was that his apartment feels fuller than it used to be. People who visited him back then always liked to complain that his place was too clean, too empty, and barely felt like a home.
Now, Alisa’s left traces of herself everywhere. The DVDs she always brings, the clothes she leaves behind, and sometimes even hours after she leaves, her scent lingers in the air and all over the couch or his sheets. She has her own toothbrush, towel, even her own assigned drawers.
Sakusa had never been in a relationship long enough for them to have their own drawers at his place.
Sakusa may not be in love with her, but Alisa had unknowingly made his home feel more lived in. Sakusa may not be in love with her, but he does care about her enough to actually like seeing her waiting for him after a long day.
And that’s something, isn’t it?
“Hello, fiance. Welcome home!” Alisa greets playfully, walking over to him and kissing his cheek. “I have to say though, I didn’t know you already proposed to me until I read the articles this morning!”
Sakusa breathes out a chuckle and closes the door behind him. “Shut up. What are you doing here so early?”
Alisa shrugs. “I knew you probably had a long day today, so I decided to prepare your dinner. Since you’re always doing it for me.”
Sakusa raises his eyebrows. “You? Cooking?”
Alisa motions to the plastic bags on the dinner table. “I bought your favorite takeout.”
“Of course, you did.” Sakusa smiles, patting her head. “Thank you.”
They eat their dinner in comfortable silence like they always do and it’s just like any other night, until Alisa clears her throat and goes, “So… today’s headlines sure were something, huh?”
Sakusa can tell just from the tone in her voice that she’s not just talking about their ‘engagement’ this time.
“I guess.” is all he offers her before eating another spoonful of rice.
“Did you know?” She asks, “About Atsumu and Kita, I mean?”
“No. Why would I?” Sakusa shoots back, “We barely even talk anymore.”
“I don’t know.” She shrugs, her gaze fixed on him even as she continues to eat, “Atsumu just seems like… he’s important to you. I just thought you’d know at least something.”
“He was just a co-star that I was close friends with, that’s—”
“Unique friendship.” Alisa says, effectively cutting him off. “That’s what you told me back then. You had a unique friendship.”
“I don’t think I thought too hard about it back then. Maybe, a part of me didn’t want to.” Alisa says, lowering her gaze to her plate. “But… you cried about him, didn’t you? Watching him talk about you?”
“That wasn’t…” Sakusa tries to deny it, but doesn’t know how to do it in a way that sounds convincing. “It isn’t because of anything like that.”
“See, you say that but I don’t think you believe it. You had feelings for him back then, didn’t you?”
“Does that matter?” Sakusa argues, visibly getting agitated. “I’ve been with you the past two years, haven’t I? We’ve been good, haven’t we? Why does it matter how I felt back then?”
“It matters because you’re shaking, Kiyoomi.” Alisa says, reaching over the table and laying her hand over his. It’s so similar to how Atsumu used to do it, but so different at the same time.
He notices that she doesn’t look or sound angry. She doesn’t even seem sad. If there’s anything that he feels from her right now, it’s only quiet understanding.
It makes him feel worse.
“Tell me.” Alisa says softly, like she’s scared that if she speaks any louder, he’ll cower. “Just… talk to me.”
Sakusa bites the insides of his cheeks.
“We both know why we’re in this relationship.” She adds, squeezing his hands tighter. “And it’s never been because of love, has it?”
He doesn’t know what it is, but something inside him starts to unravel.
He tries to speak, opens his mouth, takes a breath, but nothing comes out.
And Alisa, being the damn amazing woman that she always is, only smiles softly and kisses his knuckles.
“I’ll start then.” She says. “I started going out with you because I thought you were cute… and because I knew you’d be someone both my parents and the public approved of. Not that you didn’t already know that.”
Sakusa smirks weakly.
“And I’m simply the luckiest girl in the world, because despite coming into this with only those reasons, I ended up with someone like you.” She smiles, rubbing the back of his hand with her thumbs. “Someone who I may not be in love with, but someone I love anyway, and someone who loves me too. Because you’re my best friend who I want nothing but the best for.”
The sheer warmth in those words makes him break.
He pulls their joint hands closer, pressing a kiss to her fingers once, twice, thrice, before rubbing her hand against his cheek.
“I really do love you, you know that, right?”
“I do know, actually.” Alisa nods. “You wouldn’t have let me keep all these things in your apartment if you didn’t. You don’t even let Komori do it.”
Sakusa snorts. “I just… I just really thought this would be the best thing that I could do for myself.”
“For yourself?” Alisa repeats, “Or for everyone else?”
“Isn’t that the same thing?” He asks and Alisa can tell that it’s truly what he thinks.
“I didn’t… do relationships. I didn’t even really understand what being in love was supposed to feel like. I don’t know if I do even now. I just thought… I have to succeed, get rich, find a decent and safe person to be with, someone my parents will approve of, someone the public will approve, and therefore someone I’ll approve of.”
“That’s all my life has always been about, I think. Getting approval. Doing things and being sure I’m doing the right thing. The smart thing. Keeping my life as quiet as it can possibly be given my circumstances. I’ve had a life envisioned for myself since I was a kid and everything I’ve done so far have just been careful steps that I thought would get me there the fastest.”
“And Atsumu?” Alisa asks, “Where did he fit into that life you had envisioned?”
“That’s the thing.” Sakusa explains, frustrated, “He doesn’t. He messed it up. He distracts me. He doesn’t fit into the plan at all… but for some fucking reason, I couldn’t stop wanting him anyway.”
“Well,” Alisa smiles gently. “There you have it.”
“There I have what?”
“You know exactly what being in love feels like, Kiyoomi.” She says, “You just described it perfectly.”
Love? This was love?
Sakusa wonders, is this what love is supposed to feel like? Is it supposed to feel like destruction? Is it supposed to rip you apart from the inside out? Is it supposed to feel like an annoying itch that just never goes away? Is it supposed to come in the form of a contract you’d wanted to break the second you signed it?
Is it knowing someone’s touch, feeling it once, and spending the rest of your life praying to feel it again, even if it’s just one more time?
He looks up at Alisa with moist eyes and sees that there are tears already spilling out of hers. She’s crying and the more Sakusa looks at her, the more he sees himself.
“Can I ask you something?” Sakusa sniffs, “Are you... in love with someone too?”
There’s something poignant in the way Alisa looks at him at that moment, as she says, “He didn’t think he’d be a good fit for me.”
“Well,” Alisa sighs, directing her gaze to the wall like she can’t bring herself to look anywhere else, “He only started transitioning to male not too long ago. He said he didn’t want to ruin my relationship with my family… and ruin the career I’ve worked so hard for.”
They’d been together for two years now, but it’s only at this moment, that they both truly come to understand each other. Who they are, why they’re here, and how they’d gotten here. Two years and it’s only now that they realize that in a lot of ways, they’re really just one and the same.
Sakusa reaches out to caress her cheek, comfortingly.
“Love him, anyway.” He whispers, “No good person should believe that they don’t deserve to be loved just because of who they are.”
At that, Alisa rests her hand on top of his and looks at him, meaningfully. “Then… go , Kiyoomi.”
She leans forward over the small table to press a chaste kiss on his nose bridge, that Sakusa can tell means goodbye , “Go to him... and love him, anyway.”
“Did ya pack sunscreen?” Osamu asks, peeking into Atsumu’s travel bag, “See, ya bring some but ya always forget to put some on before ya start swimmin’.”
“What do you know? Ya haven’t even gone to the beach with me in years.” Atsumu argues.
“Don’t get fuckin’ huffy with me. Are ya sure ya packed enough clothes? Lemme check—”
“Okay, that’s it. What the hell are ya bein’ so naggy for?” Atsumu complains.
“Let him be, Atsumu.” Suna says boredly from his comfortable position in Atsumu’s bed, wrapped up in the blanket as if he owned it. “This is your first solo vacation. It is yet another first in his motherhood journey.”
“Hey, fuck you.” Osamu glares, “I’m just tryin’ to make sure he has everythin’ he needs.”
“Will ya stop worryin’ so much? How old are we?” Atsumu teases, going through his bedside drawers. “Damn. Where the hell did I put those new sunglasses I got? Samu, I swear to God if ya used them before I did—”
Osamu makes a face. “Bold of ya to assume I’d ever voluntarily wear anything you own.”
“Check the drawers in your closet.” Suna suggests, “Didn’t you rearrange a few months ago? I distinctly remember you saying something like, ‘Sunarin, this makes sense, right? Sunglasses in the closet, sex toys by my bed.’ and I was like, ‘I could’ve lived my whole life not knowing where you keep your sex toys.’ ”
“Great, now I know where he keeps his sex toys.” Osamu grieves.
“Oh, right.” Atsumu says, power walking to his walk-in closet, and then proceeding to go through the drawers. He pauses. “For some reason, there’s a polaroid of me completely naked in here. Wanna have it?”
“I’d rather die. Thank you, though.” Suna deadpans.
Atsumu snickers, filing through what seems to be mostly trash, until he sees a very familiar piece of paper, looking a lot more aged than he remembers, folded into a small square.
“Holy shit.” He says under his breath, picking it up, and slowly unfolding it to make sure his gut feeling is right.
He doesn’t know whether he feels like laughing or crying.
Miya Atsumu and Sakusa Kiyoomi’s Co-Stars With Benefits Arrangement Contract
1. The span of this arrangement will only last up to the very last day of filming. Anything past that is forbidden.
2. This arrangement will be kept top secret. For obvious reasons.
3. Absolutely no getting emotionally attached.
4. No kissing outside filming.
“So, this is the infamous fuck buddies contract, huh?” Osamu says from behind him. “You guys sure fucked that up. Ya might as well just cross everythin’ out.”
“Nah.” Atsumu breathes out a laugh, running his fingers over the paper lightly. “We managed to follow one, at least.”
“It’s not the keepin’ it top secret, is it? ‘Cause it doesn’t matter if ya didn’t technically tell anyone when you two were obvious as hell.”
“No. We’ve never kissed outside filming.” Atsumu answers.
Osamu and Suna stare at him for a few seconds and it somehow manages to translate so many different emotions.
“God.” Suna says awe-struck, “That is so fucked.”
Atsumu finally finds his Gucci sunglasses and pushes his drawer closed.
“I’m bringing this to Okinawa. Wouldn’t it be symbolic to… I don’t know, burn it by the sea? Or like, to put it in a glass bottle and send it out into the ocean?”
“How poetic of ya.” Osamu says uninterestedly, “Do whatever ya need to do. And watch yerself, alright? The media are all over you ‘n Kita-san’s asses right now.”
“And fuckin’ take—”
“— care of myself and call ya every night.” Atsumu finishes for his brother, “I will.”
Osamu pulls him by the wrist and wraps him in a tight hug.
“I’m proud of ya. It’ll be fine. Let go of whatever happened in Okinawa back then, and go ‘n make some new memories. Hear me?”
He lets go of him, “And please wear sunscreen.”
“Yes to the lettin’ go and makin’ new memories.” Atsumu nods, “And maybe to the sunscreen. No promises, though.”
Thanks to Atsumu’s disguise and by disguise he means a mask and a cap like all those k-pop idols always wear when they go to the airport, he’s only recognized three times. Twice in the airport which he’s able to get past peacefully, and then once in the plane. Funnily enough, it’s by a man whose wife starts getting airsick in the middle of the flight. In the middle of making her drink water, he turns to him and goes, ‘Oh my god! You’re Miya Atsumu!’ which Atsumu had replied to with, ‘Dude, your wife is like, dying!’
It doesn’t hit him until he’s in the car service on the way to the resort, and he’s rolling down the windows. It’s the smell of the sea and the feeling of the wind against his skin that takes him back to being twenty-two.
Is six years ago supposed to feel like an entire lifetime?
“Hey, I dunno if this is something you get often…” The driver suddenly says, the old man’s eyes examining him from the rearview mirror. “But you look a lot like that one famous actor.”
Atsumu bites back an amused smile. “I do get that a lot, actually.”
“Man,” He says, his face brightening up considerably, “I mean, if you’re gonna look like any celebrity, might as well be Miya Atsumu, don’t you think?”
“Are you a fan?” Atsumu asks, careful to speak without his Kansai dialect.
“I guess you can say that.” The driver shrugs, “I mean… I’ve pretty much seen all the guy’s movies. Make It Count was filmed here, did you know that? I think I even saw them filming from afar that year. I wanted to go and ask for an autograph but I figured it wouldn’t be nice to disrupt them when they’re working.”
“That’s very considerate of you.”
“Yes, sir.” He nods, “That movie did a lot for my family. It got my son to come out to us. He was scared I’d get upset and maybe I would’ve been, a little bit, if I hadn’t watched that movie.”
Atsumu softens. “Really?”
“Yeah, I saw how miserable those main characters were when their families wouldn’t accept them, and I told myself I would never do that to my own kids.” He says matter-of-factly, “No, sir.”
“And recently, news came out saying that Miya Atsumu and Kita Shinsuke are together, right?” He adds, “I know a lot of the media are crucifying them, but I think they should leave the poor kids alone. Those two have made a lot of people happy with their talent and that’s all that matters. Who they like to bed is nobody else’s business, in my opinion.”
Atsumu tries very hard not to start crying. Once he’s sure he won’t burst into tears on the spot, he says, “I’ll take a picture with ya if ya promise you’ll only post it after three days.”
The driver’s lips curl into a knowing smile. “You are Miya Atsumu, aren’t you?”
“Thank you.” He simply says, leaning against the window. “That… means a lot to me.”
“Keep doing what you’re doing, kid.” He says, probably in a way to comfort him with everything that’s happening, and Atsumu can’t help but hear his own father in him. “You’re doing alright.”
Atsumu didn’t realize until that very moment how much he’d been wanting to hear that from somebody. He wipes a few tears away.
When they reach their destination, they take a selfie in front of the car and say their goodbyes by hugging. And before Atsumu can roll his luggage into the lobby, the old man pauses and says;
“Hey, now that I think about it…” He starts, face scrunching up in thought, “I heard another actor arrived here just yesterday morning. He’s, uh… that guy you worked with the last time you were here, I think.”
Oh, fuck. No. No fucking way. There is no way.
“Sakusa… Kiyoomi?” The driver says, in the tone of a question. “If I’m not mistaken.”
Safe to say, Atsumu spends the rest of the day locked up in his hotel room.
What the fuck was Sakusa Kiyoomi doing in Okinawa? Isn’t he supposed to be celebrating with his fiance? Oh, god. Were they celebrating here? In fucking Okinawa? Now, that’s just cruel. This is their place and they both know it. Celebrating his engagement here would be blatant foul play.
He doesn’t have the courage to go out and eat at a restaurant. He’s too scared to even go down to the lobby and eat at the hotel buffet. So, he resorts to ordering room service for both lunch and dinner like the coward he is.
He spends most of the day staring out the window longingly, thinking about the solo vacation that could’ve been, and ranting to Osamu on the phone. To his credit, he manages to play the part of the empathetic brother for a few seconds, before he and Suna start laughing their asses off. Assholes. And to think, they were so worried about him being here on his own. They can go fuck themselves.
He scans the room and observes that it’s pretty much almost the exact same layout he remembers from six years ago. He can pick out each and every nook and cranny and point out all the places they’d had sex. Right there, against the door. Bent over on that dresser. In different positions, on the bed. Once, on top of the glass table. That was dangerous and Sakusa had told him that they’re never doing that again. (Atsumu still believes it’s just because he got all embarrassed about the ass mark he left on it.) Everywhere in the bathroom. The shower, the counter, the bathtub, not the toilet, though. (“That’s weird as hell, Atsumu. It just feels wrong.” “Yer so weird. Ya let me fuck ya in bathroom stalls outside, though.” “That’s different.” “How is it different?!”) And right here, on the couch he’s sitting on.
They also used to go over their lines together here. Sakusa would say, ‘Will you stop improvising, it confuses me!’ and he would reply with, ‘This is my forte, Omi-kun, it’s what makes me good!’ and he’d roll his eyes and go along with his improvising, anyway. He’d complain but no one Atsumu had ever worked with could go along with his improvisations the way he did.
And that lamp on the bedside table, they used to argue about turning it on or off. Atsumu would say, ‘But I wanna see yer sexy face, Omi-Omi!’ and he would of course, blush and go, ‘You’re so fucking embarrassing.’ They’d compromise and do it lights on one night and then lights off the next.
They used to wrestle a lot, too. Not even in a joking way. They’d somehow always manage to get into a mini argument in the middle of sex, usually around round two, and start pushing at each other until they’d fall off the bed. ‘Be glad the floor is carpeted. If it wasn’t, I’d punch you.’ Sakusa would say. And Atsumu would grin at him, ‘Yer all bark and no bite.’ (And then, he’d proceed to prove him wrong by leaving bite marks on his neck that would last a whole week.)
Every inch of the room reminds him of something. An argument, a joke, the sound of bickering, the sound of his laughter, the sunlight when it would hit Sakusa’s face just right and make his eyes sparkle, the hotel bathrobe he loved to wear, the taste of a shared watermelon shake, playing footsie while watching an episode of Alice in Borderland, the warmth of his hands, the curl of his hair, the two moles above his eyebrow, “Hey, Omi. Now that yer fuckin’ me, I’m not so bad, am I?” “You’re insufferable.” “Ya like me, though.” “That’s only ‘cause I’m a masochist.”
Atsumu smiles at the memory.
They could’ve been together. They wanted to be together. At least, he thinks they did. But back then, it wasn’t about what they wanted. It was about what they needed.
Sakusa needed peace. Atsumu needed time. But Atsumu couldn’t give him peace, not with the way he was, and Sakusa didn’t have time to give, not with all the things he had planned.
What is a man of chaos meant to do when he falls in love with a man of composure?
Sometimes, Atsumu thinks about it. If things had been different, like if they met at a different time and place, or if they weren’t celebrities, or if they met as the people they are right now instead of the people they were back then, would they have had a chance?
He reaches into his pocket, pulling out the contract he’s planning to get rid of. He turns it over in his hands.
“This is all yer fault. It all started with you. I signed ya and suddenly I was bound to him.” He says to the lifeless paper, “I’m gonna have to get rid of ya for good now, ‘kay?”
The contract doesn’t answer. Atsumu knows he’s losing it when he starts wishing for the ability to punch paper in the face. He looks up at the clock and sees that it’s past midnight. That’s a safe enough time for him to go out, right?
He feels the inside of his pocket to make sure his newly bought lighter is still there.
He takes a deep breath, takes one last look around the room, and decides this is it. It’s time to let go.
Sakusa isn’t sure what it is that makes him buy a ticket to Okinawa. Kiyoko had balked at his sudden announcement. After his talk with Alisa, he just figured it was the obvious thing to do. Go back to where everything started for them, think about what to do next, and he can go from there.
Go and love him anyway. That’s what she’d told him.
If only it were that simple. Maybe, if they didn’t let so much time pass, it would be. Six years since the last time he’s been here. Almost two years since the last time he and Atsumu had even met up as friends. Wouldn’t it be presumptuous of him to appear in Atsumu’s life again after everything?
Was he really with Kita Shinsuke? Did he still matter to him? Did he stand by his thought that they wouldn’t be good for each other? Would it be unfair of him to ask that he try anyway?
It’s all of those thoughts that lead him back to Okinawa. Maybe here, he’ll find what he’s looking for. Maybe here, he’ll be reminded of why they were so convinced that they were a bad idea. Maybe here, he’ll find his answers.
He looks out at the ocean and at the night sky that’s clearer than what he’s used to.
The nights here are pretty, Sakusa notices. He was never able to fully appreciate it back then. It’s quieter than most beaches are at night. The noise sounds so far away. He’d never noticed how isolated this part of the island was from everyone else. This is probably why they’d chosen to shoot here, huh.
The waves crash against his feet, the palm trees swaying gently, leaves rustling from the night breeze. Sakusa only wishes it were brighter. He can barely see the sea in front of him. It’s eerie, almost.
He and Atsumu had been out here together at night, once. It was only for the movie, though. A lot of the actual filming is blurry in his memory now, but that night is vivid.
It’s the only time he’d ever filmed in real rain. It was the first time he couldn’t stop crying after a scene. It was the first night he looked at Atsumu and realized he liked him.
Even when he’d told himself not to and even when he didn’t want to, he did anyway. He still asks himself.
What do you do when all you want is peace and you find yourself falling for someone who’s known to move and leave nothing but wreckage in his wake?
He still wonders sometimes, if it was unfair of him. He wonders if maybe they were both just making excuses, when in reality it was all just because they were scared. He wonders how much of Miya Atsumu he still doesn’t know. He wonders if he’ll ever know. He wonders if maybe they had a chance, if they still have a chance, if only they tried harder, if they took the leap, if… if.
Wow. Now, he’s hearing things.
Wait. Wait a fucking minute.
He turns his head. “Atsumu?”
Even in the dark of the night, even without any makeup on, Atsumu looks just as pretty as he does on TV. Maybe even prettier. Or, maybe that’s just Sakusa being biased. He’s holding onto a lighter and a piece of paper, for some reason. Sakusa almost laughs. He looks like an idiot.
It takes a second for it to sink in that they’re not running into each other at an award show or somewhere in the city. They’re in Okinawa.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He asks, bewildered.
“Me? I should be askin’ you.” Atsumu shoots back, sitting cross-legged beside him, but keeping his distance. “Shouldn’t ya be with yer soon to be wife?”
He can’t help but grimace a little at the reminder, turning away to face the ocean.
“What about you, then? Shouldn’t you be with Kita Shinsuke?”
Atsumu smirks. “Touchè.”
For a little while after he says that, they don’t talk. It should be awkward but it isn’t. If anything, it’s the most comfortable that Sakusa has felt in a long while. Strangely, he has a feeling that Atsumu feels the exact same way.
“How’ve you been?” Sakusa asks, hugging his legs. “Since we last saw each other?”
“Well, damn, Omi.” Atsumu chuckles breathily, glancing at him. “That’s a loaded question. Are ya ready to hear all of it?”
He finds that he not only means it, but that he’s excited to hear it, when he says, “Yeah.”
“Hmmm,” Atsumu hums, like he’s wondering where to even begin, “Ah! I’ll start with that movie I did with Bokuto ‘cause ya worked with him too, didn’t ya?”
“Oh, god.” Sakusa groans. “Don’t remind me.”
So, Atsumu does what he does best. He talks. A lot.
He goes from talking about Bokuto, to Bokuto’s boyfriend, to the family of Bokuto’s boyfriend, and then for some reason, it goes to his old makeup artist’s husband who cheated on her. Sakusa finds himself getting absorbed in all of it.
Everything about Atsumu always left him mesmerized. Even when he is just talking about adultery.
“... and that’s the story of how Terushima got chlamydia.” He finishes, “The lesson here is to always use protection, to be loyal, and to get checked as frequently as you can. Right, Omi-Omi?”
“I can’t believe I just listened to all of that.” Sakusa says, a little terrified of himself.
Atsumu snickers, before heaving out a contented sigh. “It’s weird, isn’t it? It’s been so long but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long at all. Just like comin’ home from a long vacation, don’t ya think?”
Sakusa agrees but just like always, he doesn’t need to say it out loud for Atsumu to know.
“How about the more recent times, though?”
“Kita Shinsuke.” He brings up, finally. “I kinda wanna hear about that.”
Atsumu raises his eyebrows, like he’s testing him. “Do ya really, though?”
Sakusa doesn’t play into it, staying silent. Atsumu relents.
“We’re not together.” He clarifies, resting his chin on his raised knee. “We did kiss… obviously. But, it wasn’t like that. We’re not like that.”
“Then, what are you like?” Sakusa asks.
Atsumu purses his lips, arranging his thoughts before saying them out loud.
“I used to like him back then. Pre-hiatus. But, we wouldn’t have worked out. Not with the way I was. So we just stayed friends. That night was just… not a great night for me. He was there. That’s all that happened.”
Sakusa goes over it in his head.
“You used to like him but it wouldn’t have worked out, not with the way you were…” Sakusa repeats, “You’ve been saying that exact sentence for a long time now, huh?”
“Hey, fuck you.” Atsumu shoots back, “It wasn’t just me. You didn’t think we’d be good together either.”
“I didn’t say anything about us.” Sakusa says, defensively.
“We both know what ya were tryin’ to say.”
They’re quiet again for a moment. And Sakusa decides to ask the question that’s probably been plaguing both their minds the past hour, more than the hundreds of questions they already had.
“Why are you here, Atsumu?” He turns his head, looking him straight in the eye, “Why are you back in Okinawa?”
Atsumu inhales, exhales, and then looks at him.
Sakusa doesn’t know what the look on his face means. It looks sad but it also looks… serene.
Serene in a way that Atsumu never was back then.
He slowly unfolds the paper in his hands, handing it to Sakusa. “This.”
Sakusa has to squint his eyes a little. Once he sees what exactly it is, his breath hitches. “You still have that?”
Atsumu stares at it, fondly. “I was surprised to find it too. I forgot I even took it with me when I moved.”
Sakusa’s eyes go over the rules he’d written himself that he hasn’t read in years, and their two signatures at the bottom.
“We sure messed that up, huh?”
“Everything but one.” Atsumu points out. “Even after everything that happened… we never did kiss outside filming, did we?”
Sakusa isn’t sure whether he feels proud or upset about it.
“What does the contract have to do with why you’re here?” He asks.
Atsumu holds out a blue lighter with his other hand. “I was gonna burn it here. I wanted it to be in this place where it all started for us. So, I could officially let ya go ‘n everythin’. I’ve been havin’ a little trouble doin’ that the past few years, but I just thought it’s about time.”
Sakusa tries not to look like he has his heart stuck in his throat. “You’ve had trouble letting me go?”
Atsumu smiles at him, but it looks resigned. “Pathetic ain’t it, Omi-kun?”
Pathetic. Maybe. Sakusa would know. He’s been in the exact same place. And now, Atsumu’s telling him he’s finally letting him go.
He’s… letting him go?
“Why?” Sakusa can’t stop himself from asking.
“What the hell do ya mean why?” Atsumu scoffs, “Yer engaged, aren’t ya? And besides… it’s stupid to keep holdin’ on to those memories. It’s stupid when we’ve always known we wouldn’t be good for each other.”
“Why wouldn’t we?”
“Omi.” Atsumu gives him a pointed look, “Yer askin’ some real stupid questions right now. It’s not like ya.”
“It’s not stupid, I’m serious. You never told me why. You never gave me the full story. I’ve only ever had those dumb media articles to rely on. Everyone else’s words. I don’t want that.” Sakusa says insistently, “I want to hear your story coming from you. So before you let me go… tell me why.”
Atsumu visibly gulps, staring at Sakusa with an expression so open and yet so complex. Like, it’s right there and Sakusa could figure it out if he tried, but all the important pieces are still missing.
“Tell me why you don’t think you’re good enough to be with anyone.” Sakusa says.
Because in the end, that’s all this is, isn’t it? That’s what it’s always been.
Miya Atsumu, one of the biggest stars in the country, was somehow convinced that he’d never be good enough for anybody.
How does that happen?
“I was too young.” Atsumu says, interrupting his thoughts.
And for the first time since they’d met all those years ago, Atsumu starts talking. About everything.
“Our family didn’t have any money. Dad only worked as a taxi driver ‘n it’s a respectable job, but not one that earns a lotta money. Mom was a housewife. Samu and I gettin’ into actin’ only happened ‘cause people always told my mom that her sons were good-lookin’ and that we’d probably make it as celebrities. So… she took some headshots of us. Gettin’ that first milk commercial was a breeze. We were cute. We were twins. What more could they possibly need?”
“It was tough at first. We were gettin’ some jobs, but never anythin’ that earned enough. Never anythin’ big. But back then, as a kid, y’know, I was just glad to be able to help, even just a little bit. I wanted to do more. When I started actin’, it had nothin’ to do with it bein’ my dream or lovin’ it. I did it because I wanted to earn money for my family and it made me happy when I did. That’s all.”
Sakusa stares, fixated. “But that changed, didn’t it? Eventually.”
“It did. With The Parent Prank. Our first movie. I fell in love.” Atsumu smiles wistfully. “Samu fuckin’ hated it. He liked the acting but not enough to enjoy all the attention. I liked the acting, I liked the attention, I liked all of it. I was twelve years old and already convinced that it’s all I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I stopped goin’ to school ‘n started bein’ home-schooled. And with that, I lost everythin’ of what was left of regular living. I was a full-time celebrity. Hell, by the age of thirteen, I was gettin’ drunk at parties. Think about that. Samu didn’t like that. He said I was turnin’ crazy.”
“Is that why he quit?” Sakusa asks, “Because you two got into a fight over that?”
“No.” Atsumu shakes his head, “No, we fight all the fuckin’ time. We fought a lot those years, but he didn’t quit because of that. He quit because of two reasons. The first, because he hated it. He only stuck around as long as he did, because I didn’t want him to quit. He only stuck around for me.”
“And the second, then?”
“The second…” Atsumu’s throat bobs, “— was because dad got sick. Colon cancer, stage four. We were fifteen. Not exactly swimmin’ in money, but we were rising stars. That’s when he quit for good. Half because he was gettin’ fuckin’ miserable, half because he wanted to help, in his own way. Mom had to start workin’ a bunch of odd jobs to help pay for dad’s chemo so Samu wanted to stay at home. Take care of dad… spend more time with him.”
Sakusa has to clench his fists to keep from reaching out and holding him. “You didn’t get to?”
“No. I went on overdrive. Fifteen to nineteen? That’s when I made all those box office hits. That’s when I started earning all my money. I couldn’t spend any time with my family, but I figured it was okay because at least I was finally earnin’ some good money. Because at least… dad would be cured.”
He takes a deep, shaky breath. “It was a lot. It was a lot for anyone, let alone a fuckin’ kid. It was confusing. I loved acting, I love makin’ those movies, I loved my job. But my dad was sick with cancer, my brother left me to have all that spotlight to myself, and I kept going thinking that if I stopped, dad would die. So, I didn’t stop. Even when I wanted to. Even when I needed to.”
“Did no one… try to talk to you?”
“I never really told my family or friends what was goin’ on or how I was feelin’ and I barely got to see them, either. The only one who was around me most of the time back then was my manager. The more I worked and earned, the more he did too. He started giving me uppers to keep me workin’. I was sixteen.”
“Jesus Christ.” Sakusa says under his breath, closing his eyes.
“I hurt a lot of people durin’ that time. Dated people who cared about me, when the only reason I dated them was ‘cause I needed someone to hold onto. I was a goddamn nightmare. It’s probably why Kita-san wouldn’t be with me, either.” He laughs humorlessly, “I wanted to quit, but I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to stop, but couldn’t stop. I loved the applause, but the noise was excruciating. I didn’t know what I wanted. At that point, I think the only thing I was sure I wanted was for my dad to get better.”
His chin wobbles. “He died when I was twenty. Mom and Samu were there when he passed. I was at a goddamn party.”
Sakusa lowers his head. “I’m sorry.”
“I broke.” Atsumu says, “A whole month long mental breakdown. I don’t remember much of it. I was filmin’ a movie but they fired me ‘cause I barely showed up. I can’t remember any of it. I was drunk or high for most of it. People around me chalked it up to me bein’ a party boy. Hell, I think I kinda thought that too. But then… that last night.”
He doesn’t elaborate but Sakusa’s pretty sure he knows what he means. His heart rate quickens.
“What happened… on the last night?”
“I was supposed to have dinner with Samu. Those dinners were supposed to be a weekly thing, but the busier we got, it became more of a… once in a blue moon thing. I didn’t want him to see me. I knew he’d know somethin’ was wrong with me the second he looked at my face… so that night, I snorted some cocaine and then got really fuckin’ drunk. Drunker than I’ve ever been. Drank a whole bottle of Vodka all on my own. Maybe it was more than that. I figured that if I was both high and wasted, then I’d be able to act happier. Like I was at parties, y’know?”
He pauses, giving himself some time before he continues talking. Sakusa only waits.
“I wasn’t tryin’ to kill myself, Omi.” He says in a quivery whisper, “I just didn’t realize how far I was takin’ it.”
“Can I hold your hand?”
“Yes, please.” Atsumu says quickly.
Sakusa reaches over and rests his hand over his. Atsumu is shaking, so he squeezes it. Atsumu squeezes back. It feels like… coming home after a long vacation.
He takes a deep breath in and then out. He does it twice.
“I almost died.” Atsumu smiles weakly, staring at their joint hands resting on his lap, as if it’s the only thing keeping him grounded.
“They took me to rehab. I was there for 60 days and the rest of the time, I spent at home tryin’ to get myself back together. Kita, Samu, and Suna wouldn’t leave me alone for a minute. They kept askin’ me why. I said I didn’t know because I really didn’t. I couldn’t understand for a long fuckin’ time why it got that bad. Why I couldn’t just bring myself to talk to someone, why I decided that I would shoulder all of it on my own, why did I… how did I let myself get to that point? Why did the thing that I thought I loved most, turn me into that person?”
“You were going through a lot.” Sakusa says.
“We all go through a lot, but not all of us turn into alcoholics and addicts.” Atsumu says pointedly, “And I… It took me a fuckin’ while to understand myself. To forgive myself. To look in the mirror and stop seein’ some pathetic washed up man who fucked his life up by the age of twenty.”
Atsumu turns to look at him. He isn’t crying.
“I’ve been completely sober since I was twenty-one. It got better with time. There’s a comfort in knowing that you’ve already gone the lowest ya could possibly go, ‘cause that means you can only go up from there. Last time I drank was just a little under a year before we met. You were the first person I worked with when I got back, y’know?” He says and it’s the first genuine smile he’s given him since they’d started the conversation, “Sakusa fuckin’ Kiyoomi. Disciplined, driven, goal-oriented, hard working, and talented. Ridiculously talented.”
“Are you trying to flatter me?”
“Ya reminded me of everythin’ I loved about acting.” Atsumu says, sincerely. “Ya reminded me of all the good qualities that I’ve always wanted but never had. I think that’s why I was so drawn to you… other than the fact that yer hot.”
“That night you tried to kiss me…” Atsumu says, softly, like soft is the only way he can say it, “I didn’t do it because when I leaned in, your mouth smelled like Vodka.”
Sakusa’s heart sinks. “Shit. I’m sorry. I didn’t…”
“Don’t apologize. Ya couldn’t have known. It wasn’t something ya would’ve understood. I liked ya. A lot. And I was scared that if I let myself have ya, I’d ruin us the way I’d ruined everythin’ else. Because the last time I was as fixated with anythin’, it was with alcohol. And that ruined me. That ruined everyone I loved. I didn’t wanna do that to us. I wouldn’t have been good for ya, Omi-Omi. I’m not what ya want.”
Atsumu squeezes his hand tightly, smiling gently at him. “If peace was what ya wanted… if safe was what ya wanted, ya wouldn’t have gotten that from me. I don’t think ya ever could.”
He doesn’t say anything after that and neither does Sakusa. Their fingers stay interlaced as they listen to the waves crashing and the faraway dance music coming from one of the restaurant bars.
When Sakusa finds his voice again, the first thing he can think of saying is, “I’m sorry.”
Atsumu doesn’t tell him not to apologize again. Instead he asks, “Why?”
“Because you scared me.” Sakusa admits out loud, for the first time. “Liking you… scared me. It shouldn’t have.”
“So, ya liked me?” Atsumu teases.
He gives him a pointed look. “You know I did.”
Atsumu bites back a smile. “What were ya scared of then? Is it because of yer experience with Ushiwaka?”
“Ya were scared I’d break up with ya and you’d see me everywhere ya went? Were ya scared yer parents would hate me?”
“I was scared of all those things. I was scared I’d risk everything and that we’d fail.” Sakusa says, “Because you were everything I’ve conditioned myself to stay away from, and yet I wanted you anyway. I wanted you more than anyone I’ve ever wanted. I think you might be the only one I’ve ever actually wanted. Not because you were comfortable, not because you were safe, but just because I did.”
Atsumu is looking at him like he’s telling him the secret to immortal life.
“I liked you so much that it terrified me. You made me want to throw out everything I’d ever known and everything I ever thought I wanted.”
“And what ya wanted was… safe?”
“What I wanted was to make my parents proud.” Sakusa says. "Make everyone proud."
Atsumu lowers his head. “And ya couldn’t have done that if you were with me.”
Sakusa looks down at their joint hands. He stares and keeps staring. He rubs the back of Atsumu’s hand with his thumb, the way he always used to do.
“No. I was just stupid.” Sakusa admits, looking up at him. “You know, when I asked you if I should say yes to Alisa… I was hoping you’d say no.”
Atsumu smirks. “Would you have listened if I did?”
“In a heartbeat.” He answers without a hint of hesitation.
Atsumu gives him a hard look, examining him for a few seconds.
“Then, why didn’t ya just say no to her?”
“Because I was thinking the exact same thing you told me back then. My parents would’ve loved her. The public would’ve loved us. We made sense. She was…”
“Safe.” Atsumu finishes.
Sakusa pauses, biting his lower lip. “Safe used to be the only thing I looked for. But the older I get, the more safe just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.”
Safe just didn’t cut it anymore.
The waves crash, the palm trees sway, and for a moment in the quiet, it feels a lot like they’re twenty-two again.
“Omi,” Atsumu says, shaky but hopeful, “If I asked ya somethin’ now… would ya still hear me out?”
Sakusa’s body goes stiff. His fingers tighten around Atsumu’s hand.
“I don’t know. What do you wanna ask?”
“It’s stupid. I’m too late. I know you’ve had a good thing goin’ on with Alisa. I’m better now, but there’s still so much to work on. My reputation and what happened to me will never go away. I’m not safe and I dunno if bein’ with me will be peaceful at all. But I’m selfish, so I’m gonna ask ya anyway.”
He looks him in the eye and this time he’s crying. Sakusa fights the urge to reach out and wipe them away.
“Don’t get married, Omi.” Atsumu begs, quiet but desperate, “ Please don’t get married.”
Sakusa almost laughs. Almost. Because he just doesn’t know how else to react.
It’s borderline hilarious how long it’s taken to them to get this far. How long it took them to learn not to rely on physical touch, but to just sit down and talk to each other.
“I’m not engaged, Atsumu.” He says.
There’s a pregnant pause. When Atsumu does speak, it’s in a high, squeaky voice.
“We broke up recently.” Sakusa explains, “We talked and ended things. It was a mutual decision. I love her and she loves me, but we’re not in love with each other. We couldn’t keep going like that.”
“I…” Atsumu stammers, “What?”
This time, Sakusa does chuckle. “She knew how I felt. And she told me… to go and love you. That’s why I’m here.”
“To love me?” Atsumu repeats, dazed.
Sakusa shakes his head. “To think about things. Get clarity. Decide what to do now that I’m letting go of everything I believed in since I was a kid. And you know what I realized?”
Atsumu stays silent, waiting.
Sakusa raises their joint hands. He lets go slowly and then maneuvers Atsumu’s hand palm up, caressing the skin and lines with his fingers.
“I think I already knew I’d fall in love with you the first day of our workshop… and felt it on that plane to Okinawa, back then.”
“The plane.” Atsumu repeats, like he doesn’t understand what the hell is going on.
Sakusa continues, “I don’t know if I was too stupid to realize or if I just didn’t want to realize. But, you know what? It sounds stupid but whenever you hold my hand… I think it’s the only time I ever feel safe.”
He squeezes Atsumu’s hand so tightly but in a way that still managed to be gentle.
“Atsumu, I think the reason I’ve been so scared is because you’re the only one in my life who’s ever made me feel safe.”
Atsumu is crying in earnest now and Sakusa knows his own eyes are getting teary. He presses their foreheads together as Atsumu hiccups.
“Do ya mean that?” He asks, voice pinched.
“Yer not gettin’ married?” Atsumu repeats, “And yer in love with me?”
“Yes.” Sakusa nods.
“Then,” Atsumu sniffs, pressing closer, “Can I please kiss ya now?”
This time, Sakusa doesn’t hesitate. He doesn’t think about his goals, his list, his reputation. He doesn’t think about Atsumu’s reputation. He doesn’t think about his parents. He doesn’t think about their careers or what the public would say. He doesn’t think about their goddamn contract.
He takes the contract in Atsumu’s other hand, crumples it into a ball, and lunges forward to finally, finally, fucking— finally allow himself to kiss the man he loves.
Because this isn’t wrong. There is nothing about this that feels wrong.
When their lips meet, Atsumu makes a fragile noise, clinging onto his shirt needily, pulling him closer, like no closeness could ever be enough, and Sakusa rests his hand on the back of his head, dragging him closer, like he’ll never be able to bear being any further apart ever again.
They kiss and it’s messy and there’s tears everywhere and it’s all teeth and tongue, but it feels like six years coming to a close. It doesn’t feel like an end. It feels like a beginning.
It feels like life was finally starting.
“Atsumu,” Sakusa says, breathy, pulling away slightly to look him in the eye, “If it’s not too late to ask… will you go on a date with me?”
“A date?” Atsumu repeats incredulously, still pressing desperate kisses all over Sakusa’s face. “Omi, ya better fuckin’ ask me to be yer boyfriend right now or I’m outta here.”
Sakusa snorts, “I was trying to be respectful and give you time.”
“I’ve had enough time.” Atsumu retorts, “You’ve given me more than enough time. I’m ready now. I wanna be happy now.”
He cups Sakusa’s cheek, “I wanna be with you now.”
Sakusa’s lips curl up. “Okay. Then… will you be my boy—”
“Yes.” Atsumu says, leaning forward to kiss him again.
The longer they keep kissing, the more it starts to feel like familiar territory, the way they used to be the last time they were doing this. Kissing in Okinawa.
“Hey,” Sakusa says, feeling adventurous, “Wanna… do an old scene right now?
“The last scene from Make It Right.” Sakusa clarifies, tilting his head to let Atsumu press more kisses to the side of his neck, “You know, where they have sex on the beach.”
Atsumu freezes. “What if we get caught?”
“Then, we get caught.” Sakusa shrugs. “We get caught and I get videotaped riding you like a pony. Or are you too scared now?”
Sakusa isn’t sure where this bout of courage is coming from. If it’s just the adrenaline from confessing or overwhelming joy from finally loving or the petty child in him not wanting Atsumu’s most recent headline to be the fact that he was kissing Kita Shinsuke in a car and would rather have it be Miya Atsumu having sex with Sakusa Kiyoomi by the sea in Okinawa.
He’s never gonna say that out loud. Atsumu’s gonna have a field day.
“Scared?” Atsumu asks, staring at Sakusa like he’s prey, “Omi, Omi, Omi… it’s like ya don’t even know me.”
It’s the last warning he gets before Atsumu pounces on him.
“Are ya sure?” Atsumu asks for the last time, before taking any pieces of clothing off. “Last chance to back out before naked pictures of us are possibly spread online tomorrow.”
“Let them.” Sakusa says, pulling him down to kiss him again, to kiss him forever. “You’re here, right? I’ll be okay.”
Sakusa had never seen a smile so beautiful that it lit up a night. “‘Course. Yer always safe with me.”
They don’t wake up to articles and pictures of them having sex by the sea in Okinawa and Sakusa is just a little disappointed.
But for the first time, he does wake up next to a blonde head of hair, morning breath, soft skin, and an arm around his middle.
He turns his gaze to the sunlight peeking out of the curtains as Atsumu groans, pulling him closer, mumbling, “G’backt’sleep,’mi”.
Sakusa smiles because he recognizes the feeling in his chest, even when he’s never felt it before. Maybe that’s just how love works.
He closes his eyes, knowing that a whole lifetime of searching and a whole list of unanswered questions are finally answered, coming in the form of one person.
“Listen, Omi,” Atsumu says, like a coach giving his student athlete a pep talk, “This is yer fifth nomination ‘n how many times have I told ya you’d win for sure? Zero, right? This is the first. And Samu told me this mornin’ that he woke up feelin’ real happy. Over the moon. So, trust me when I say yer gonna win.”
Sakusa huffs out a breath, trying to get rid of the nerves. “You don’t know that.”
“But I do.” Atsumu says, matter-of-factly.
“And the winner for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor is…”
“It’s not gonna be me.” Sakusa rolls his eyes at the sight of Atsumu’s shaky leg.
“It’s gonna be you.” He shoots back.
“It’s gonna be you.” Kiyoko nods, from his other side. “I mean, it better be ‘cause Motoya-kun and I have a bet with Bokuto-kun.”
“Sakusa Kiyoomi for Dr. Stone! ”
“Oh my god, it is me.” Sakusa whispers to himself, as everyone in the crowd stands up and cheers for him.
“I knew it!” Atsumu yells, pulling Sakusa to his feet and giving him a giant bear hug. His cologne smells headache inducing, as always.
Kiyoko has had her phone out, recording everything since before Kamenashi Kazuya had even gotten on stage to announce the winner. Sakusa wants to ask her what she would’ve done if he’d lost.
“Get up there!” Atsumu says, pushing him, reminding him that he has to move.
When he gets on stage, Kamenashi shakes his hand and passes him the trophy. It’s heavier than he thought it was.
(Atsumu would always offer to let him carry his trophies but Sakusa’s always rejected, saying that the first time he ever carries an Academy Film Prize, he wants it to be his own.)
He stands in front of the microphone, thinks about the speech he’s had memorized since the age of seventeen, and then decides to toss it out at the last minute.
“I, uh… Well. Hi.”
What the fuck.
The crowd laughs at him and he almost just wants to just not do a speech at all, until he spots Atsumu. His Atsumu.
Looking up at him and beaming with pride. And he knows he has to do it.
“There are a lot of people I want to thank. If it wouldn’t take me too long, I’d thank every director, producer, every single cast and crew I’ve worked with. But that would take fucking forever, so I won’t do that to all of you. So, I’ll just thank the director, producer, cast and crew for Dr. Stone, thank you for giving me the chance to challenge myself, to learn more, and to become such an interesting and layered character.”
“I want to thank my mom and dad, who I know are watching on TV, everything I do, it’s in hopes that it makes you proud, I love you. Komori, my asshole cousin and Kiyoko, my asshole manager, thanks to you both for keeping me in check and for witnessing me at my worst but loving me, anyway.”
“It’s my contractual obligation to.” Kiyoko mumbles to herself, but she’s crying too hard for it to look honest.
“I wanna thank Osamu and Suna who aren’t here tonight, for somehow, for some reason, becoming two of my manager’s closest friends.”
“Osamu-kun makes the best onigiri.” Kiyoko sniffs.
“He’s been workin’ on it.” Atsumu sniffs back.
“And last of all...” Sakusa takes a deep shaky breath, closing his eyes as if to prepare himself, before looking straight at Atsumu.
Atsumu looks terrified in a way he barely ever is, but also just so ridiculously… happy.
“To my favorite onscreen kiss and my favorite offscreen kiss too, who’s shown me the bravery in fear, the strength in hopelessness, the beauty in chaos, and the freedom in loving with no bounds.”
Sakusa smiles, because this is probably the scariest thing he’s ever going to do, because they’re about to be the first openly gay celebrity couple in the country, because this is Miya Atsumu.
And yet that fear is overpowered only by an overwhelming sense of pride and relief.
“My lover, my Takeru, and my Miya Atsumu, here’s to the rest of our lives.” He hears an audible gasp echo around the venue, senses everyone’s eyes going wide, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care anymore.
He’s only looking at one pair of eyes. It’s the only one that’s ever really mattered all along.
So, he raises the shiny trophy above his head, victoriously. But that night, nothing shines brighter than Atsumu’s radiant smile.
Glowing, like he always does. Smiling, like a movie still that you know you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
“So, world! Just keep on watching us! We’re gonna give you a show you’ll never fucking forget!”